Author Archives: Gerry Smith

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Jordon Cox on Drive

It was a busy old time on Friday’s edition.  Not only were the roads clogged up, and Essex Police Commissioner Nick Alston on the show, Jordon Cox dropped by for a chat about the Brentwood Operatic Society’s new production, How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying.

After a brief introduction, we played a song from the Broadway smash hit, and Jordon told us about himself, the show, and the Society.

Jordon Cox on Drive – Friday 11 October 2013

It’s quite apparent that Jordon, and the show is going to be a big success.  My thanks to Jordon for dropping by.  And remember, if you want to see this great show and have a fun night out, you can buy your tickets from the Brentwood Theatre box office on 01277 200305.

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Carshalton Athletic v Billericay Town – LIVE

Carshalton Athletic  1-0  Billericay Town

East Thurrock United  3-0  Cray Wanderers

Ware  5-5  Brentwood Town

Bury  1-1  Southend United

Morecambe  2-2  Dagenham & Redbridge


FULL TIME:  So Billericay’s recent run of victories has come to a grinding halt in the most unlikeliest of places.  Full credit to Carshalton Athletic, though, they fully deserved their win, by far the better side in the first half, and rarely troubled in the second.  Craig Edwards will spend a long time having to re-evaluate some of his squad.  Yet again.

5 – Carshalton 1-0 Billericay – Full Time

Never mind, another day, another dollar.  Unitl the next time, enjoy yourselves, and your football


90th min  + 4 – And ‘Ricay’s misery is complete with Ricky Sappleton sent off for a crude tackle as Carshalton counted down the clock.

90th min – And as injury time drifts towards us, play is less and less around the Carshalton box and further upfield.  Except for a throw in on the left which comes to nothing.  Four minutes to go.

85th min – And from there, play switches downfield.  Another Town corner on the right, for a split second panic in the home six yard box, but it is eventually cleared.  Bah.

84th min – Alex Addai, talking of frustration, runs at the Billericay goal, has defenders in front of him, and Tommy Bradford free to his left.  What does he do?  Yes.  Chortle.  Richard Halle sees to him easily enough.

80th min – Another corner for ‘Ricay, this time on the left.  A bit of pinball inside the box, but Richard Halle’s awful effort just clears the corner flag.

76th min – Billericay substitution:  Final throw of the dice for Craig Edwards as Junior Luke has been replaced by Evans Kouassi.

75th min – Another ‘Ricay corner on the right.  Another set piece easily defended.  Gaaaahhhhh.  So frustrating.  Still, at least Scouse Butterworth has been subbed by the Robins after a subdued second half, so a Brucey Bonus there.  Not that it means Sweet Fanny Adams at this stage.

70th min – Billericay are pressing, forced a corner, but nothing clear cut.  Carshalton are reduced to the odd break but, bah, are looking comfortable.

4 – Carshalton 1-0 Billericay Mid 2nd Half

Plenty of time left though.

64th min – Billericay subsitiutions – Max Lette Jallow and Joe Benjamin have been replaced by James Robinson and Glen Poole.

62nd min – Now we know why Alex Addai was released by Blackpool youths.  No left foot.  Sent clear on the right, he cuts inside the last defender, but instead of shooting with his left, tries to get into a shooting position with his right foot.  In the end, he has to lay it off to Luke Pigden, who shoots it into Kent.

59th min – Oh, so close!  Billericay have slowly gained a foothold in this game.  On the right, Joe Benjamin sends in a low curling cross.  It evades absolutely everyone and looks a certain equaliser but rebounds off the far post.  The nerves – and bowels – are well and truly jangling for the Robins now.

55th min – Now pretty evenly matched, with a lot of play in the middle third of the pitch.  Just a very soft Ricky Sappleton shot, easily collected, until …. ooh, Alex Addai gets clear of the ‘Ricay defence on the left and his curling shot goes just wide of the far post.  Yet another warning.

49th min – Much brighter from Billericay, keeping possession, and forcing a couple of  corners on the right, which ends in a Ricky Sappleton shot from about 10 yards being saved comfortably.  But much better already.

4.02pm – KICK OFF!  It simply has to get better this time round.  Hasn’t it?


HALF TIME:  And a real bolt from the blue from the reds right on half time.  Thoroughly deserved, too.  Quite frankly, there’s only one team in it.  Craig Edwards will be tearing bricks off the changing room, let alone strips of paint.  A half where Billericay have been outplayed.  They have to do better.  They could hardly be any worse.

3 – Carshalton 1-0 Billericay

Right, off for a Bovril and a prayer mat.  Laters.


45th min – GOAL! ….. CARSHALTON ATHLETIC 1, Billericay Town 0  It has been coming.  This time KIERAN WOODLEY was given the freedom of Surrey on the right to run into the area and shoot home on the edge of the six yard box.  Billericay are in big trouble here.

42nd min – The pressure is incessant on the Billericay goal now, and is almost becoming a deule between Butterworth and Lumley.  This time, Lumley is beaten, but the shot on the right goes agonisingly past the post for the hosts, much to our relief.  The corner from it is defended easily enough too.

40th min – And again Carshalton come.  A lovely dink over the defence on the right and that man Butterworth whacks it goalwards from about 8 yards.  Billy Lumley does brilliantly to parry it onto the bar and away.

35th min – Butterworth is being a real handful this afternoon and a run and shot on the left forces another corner.  From that, defender Bruce Hogg hits a powerful volley on the edge of the area that Billy Lumley did so well to get to and hold.  A good game for ‘Ricay it certainly hasn’t been so far (trying to tempt fate here, y’know).

32nd min – Nice work again from Addai and Bradford on the left for Carshalton, there’s a centre into the six yard box, but thankfully Scouse Butterworth’s header is tame and causes Billy Lumley less problem than a sloth on mogadon.

30th min – Max Lette-Jallow is fouled wide on the right.  It wasn’t particularly nasty but that was enough for one Billericay fan to continue his abuse of the referee.  Quite vitriolic.  And obviously henpecked at home.  Chortle.  From the free kick, a soft shot on the left is easily saved.

25th min – Huge shouts for a Billericay penalty after Ricky Sappleton is upended in the left hand side of the box are rightly waved away by the ref.  The Billericay players and supporters throw a tantrum.  I shouldn’t but chortle.

2 – Carhalton 0-0 Billericay Mid 1st Half

And overall, very much the home team the better side.

21st min – A real let off for Billericay.  Alex Addai gets clear of the Billericay back line and just inside the area rounds the keeper.  Lumley, however, superbly reaches back to get a vital hand to the ball, when it seems certain Carshalton will take the lead.

19th min – More possession and territory from ‘Ricay, at last.  Nothing clear cut but at least they seem to have weathered the early Carshalton storm.  Elsewhere, lively starts at the East Thurrock and Brentwood games.  I said it might turn out to be full of japery after all.

14th min – Back come the hosts though.  Ex Brentwood Town playmaker Steve Butterworth runs superbly down the right, and inside the area on the bye-line centres low.  It takes a desperate intervention by Callum Dunne to clear for a corner inside the six yard box, although it was perilously close to an own goal.  The subsequent corner is cleared easily enough though.

11th min – At last a Billericay attack worthy of the name.  Junior Luke runs clear down the left, and his low shot on the edge of the area is parried excellently by Dean Snedker.  From that, another shot goes in from Ricky Sappleton which is easily dealt with.  But much better from ‘Ricay.

7th min – And another Robins shot across the bow.  Corner on the right, a Bradford flick on, and ex Blackppol youth player Alex Addai’s bicycle kick goes just wide of the far post.  Have to say it, all Carshalton so far.

5th min – But then a real warning for ‘Ricay.  Harry Adanetey gets free on the right, goes wide of Lumley, but his angle is too tight and his shot hits the side netting.  Phew.  This ain’t gonna be a walk in the park, this.

4th min – First corner of the day goes to the hosts after a nice little Tommy Bradford run to the left bye-line.  Easily defended though, Billy Lumley punching clear.

2.59pm – KICKOFF!  Oh yes!  If a little premature


2.57pm – The teams come out to mild applause in mild, overcast conditions, ‘Ricay in light blue, Carshalton all red.  Let’s see who finishes in the pink.  Chortle.

2.55pm – I like it here at Colston Avenue.  My Carshalton counterpart is as welcoming as a struggling club can be, my other half is here occupying herself with fixing her phone and look at the pictures in the Sun, and there’s been a very sweet and innocent display for some under 7’s cheerleaders.  Just lovely.

2.50pm – Team News:  Billericay Town go with:

1. – Billy Lumley

2. – Jeff Imudia

3. – George Beavon

4. – Callum Dunne

5. – Richard Halle (c)

6. – Paul Rodgers

7. – Junior Luke

8. – Max Lette-Jallow

9. – Ricky Sappleton

10. – Sean Bonnet-Johnson

11. – Joe Benjamin


12. – Ryan Scott

14. – James Robinson

15. – Evans Kouassi

17. – Chris Webber

18. – Glenn Poole

You see?  A few wins and all of a sudden the squad is settled and happy.  Happy days for Ming on the touchline, too, his job being made that much easier.

2.40pm – Looking elsewhere, it could be an afternoon of hard graft at Rookery Hill.  East Thurrock United, with just one home win so far, take on bottom side Cray Wanderers.  With Kye Ruel back in the ranks, though, it could just provide the Rocks with a bit of a spark.

Brentwood Town, meanwhile, already have a basement battle on their hands.  Just four points to their name, the Ryman One North strugglers travel to Ware, just one place above them in 22nd place.  Les Whitton’s boys desperately need something positive after their FA Cup humiliation at Clacton midweek.

And in League Two, out of form Southend United face a tough trip to the environs of Manchester, and Dagenham & Redbridge, who are rarely in form, head northwards, though in sunnier climes, as they take on Morecambe.

Frankly, it really looks like an unappetising and unappealing afternoon.  But it’s weekends like this that often throw up tons of drama and japery galore.  We will have to see.


2.35pm – A very good afternoon from the War Memorial Ground in leafy Surrey.  A nice ground, good chaps and cheapesses, but Billericay Town won’t care a jot.  Three points at the expense of hosts Carshalton Athletic is all that matters for Craig Edwards and the ‘Ricay supporters.

After a shaky start, three straight league and cup wins have boosted the mood and confidence at New Lodge.  Comfortable mid-table is an awful lot better than it was 11 days ago.

It could get better still.  After the Robins’ fortuitous survival last season, ending in the relegation zone before Thurrock’s points deduction kept them up, Carshalton are again at the wrong of the Ryman Premier, having lost all home games in the process.

If you’re like me, however, you always feel that runs and records come to an end as soon as you mention it.  Having already tempted fate by doing just that, we may have a game on our hands.

Oh, by the way, the reason why the cover pic is are rugby posts, with a football net in the background?  I just think it’s a pretty picture I took and wanted to share pretty things with you.  What a lovely chap I am.

1- Carshalton v Billericay Preview

As ever, refresh this page every few minutes, and a jolly jape of an afternoon following ‘Ricay will be my gift to you.  I’m nice like that, see.


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Billericay Town v Leiston – LIVE

Billericay Town  4-1  Leiston

Margate  1-1  East Thurrock United

Austria 1-0  Republic of Ireland

Luxmbourg  3-2  Northern Ireland

Macedonia  1-2  Scotland

Ukraine  0-0  England

Wales  0-3  Serbia


FULL TIME:  And a welcome, excellent three points for ‘Ricay.  After the shock of conceding such an early goal, ‘Ricay responded in superb manner for over an hour.  Craig Edwards will be pleased at that but not so pleased with how they switched off for a while afterwards.  Still, great result and overall, a fine performance.

8 – Billericay 4-1 Leiston FT

Until the weekend, enjoy yourself, and your football.


90th min – Three minutes of injury time.  Elsewhere, fabulous win for Scotland, but decidedly average to awful for the rest.  Still, an excellent result here.  Probably.

86th min – Sort of fizzling out.  Like the feeling in my backside.  It’s cold, it’s wet, and that’s just my jeans.

81st min – At long last play switches to the other end, with a lovely run down the right, low centre inside the box, and scramble.  Ironically, a really good, competitive ending to the game after a rather one-sided first hour or so.

76th min – Another big warning.  Ball in the back of the Billericay net after a cracking shot on the right hand edge of the area.  The linesman, though, had the offside flag up.   A real let-off for Billericay, that.

71st min – At least the few Leiston fans are trying to enjoy themselves, chanting “We’re gonna win 5-4.”  Meanwhile, ‘Ricay have fallen asleep and the visitors have done all the running the last few minutes.  Craig boy ain’t happy, I tells ya.

66th min – Craig Edwards still not a happy man, bemoaning a “stonewaller” penalty not being given.  Elsewhere, shockers for Wales and Northern Ireland.  Blimey O’ Reilly.

61st min – GOAL! ….. BILLERICAY TOWN 4,  Leiston 1  Another free kick on the right into the opposite side of the area, and CALLUM DUNNE sends a looping header into the far corner of the net.

7 – Billericay 4-1 Leiston

Goal Pie.

59th min – More ‘Ricay pressure, a cross from the left, and eventually Junior Luke’s looping header from 10 yards is saved.

56th min – Attendance tonight is 165.  As another Billericay free-kick on the right is defended relatively comfortably.

51st min – GOAL! ….. BILLERICAY TOWN 3,  Leiston 1  And Richard Halle puts it away after an obvious foul in the box.

6 – Billericay 3-1 Leiston

Now a bit of a cushion.

50th min – PENALTY FOR ‘RICAY!

8.48pm – KICK OFF!   Yep, again.


HALF TIME:  And a thoroughly good one for the home side.  After the shock of that early goal, they’ve responded superbly.  It’s often the biased who say “there’s only one team in it” but it’s been that way for so much of the game so far.  For all ‘Ricay’s dominance, though, Leiston are well in this.

5 – Billericay 2-1 Leiston HT

Right, I’m off for a Bovril.  To dip my hands in.  Laters.


45th min – A warning for Billericay though.  In a rare break, Craig Parker bursts to the edge of the home penalty area and shoots about a foot over the bar.  Oof.

40th min – The ‘Ricay fans are in good voice now, and the team are keeping up the pressure, with crosses into the box complimenting their corners.  No more clear-cut breaks though.  Leiston will be happy to get to the break at 2-1, as another Billericay shot just clears the bar.

33rd min – GOAL! ….. BILLERICAY TOWN 2,  Leiston 1  And how they are made to pay!  From the goal kick, JUNIOR LUKE runs down the left, into the box, and bangs home a low shot into the far corner of the Blunts Wall End goal.

4 – Billericay 2-1 Leiston

Proper game changer, that.

31st min – Oh my, oh deary me.  Ryan Crisp is through on goal for Leiston, rounds the keeper, and from less than six yards – puts the ball wide of the right hand post.  “Unbelievable”, I was uttering before that, describing the Billericay defending.  But trust me.  Un. Be. Lieve. Able.  Miss of the decade.

28th min – “Great football lads” shouts Craig Edwards as another rapid run, this time on the right, ends in a free kick on the touchline.  It has been, too.  From that, Callum Dunne goes down in the box, but no can do says the ref.  Correctly.  Bah.  Where’s a bad ref when you need one?

22md min – Continual pressure from the hosts, winning a number of corners, and play mostly in the Leiston defensive third of the pitch.  Just now a lovely run on the left, low centre, shot from inside the area, and a good save.

17th min – GOAL! ….. BILLERICAY TOWN 1,  Leiston 1  It’s been coming.  A shot on the edge of the area was tipped over the bar.  From the corner, a scramble, and CALLUM DUNNE nods home.

3 – Billericay 1-1 Leiston

Liquid football!

13th min – Much better.  Sean Bonnett-Johnson runs down the left, inside the box, and his low shot is parried at the near post for a corner, which is eventually defended.

8th min – Billericay have been stung into action, understandably.  Plenty of pressure, but nothing clear-cut created.  But more encouraging as the rain starts to pour.  Ugh.

3rd min – GOAL! ….. Billericay Town 0,  LEISTON 1   An awful start.  A harmless looking centre on the left, but neither goalie called it or defender picked up RYAN CRISP who had the easiest of tasks from about eight yards.

2 – Billericay 0-1 Leiston


7.44pm – KICK OFF!  Oh yes!


7.42pm – The teams come out to the odd cheer, from some very odd people.  Billericay in blue shirts and socks with white shorts, Leiston in all red.

7.40pm – Team News:  Billericay Town go with

1a – Teams

7.38pm – Meanwhile, well done Nor’n I’ron, slaughtering Luxembourg by 1-0 presently.  I still remember them from Spain ’82.  Especially that gorgeous blonde who followed Gerry Armstrong around the pitch after they beat the hosts.  Yummy.

 7.35pm – Team news will be here when my fingers have warmed up.  My but it’s a cold one tonight.  And the weather.

7.25pm – Elsewhere, it’s World Cup night.  Not that I know too much about it, apart from England and the two Irish sides being in contention, and Scotland and Wales only going to Brazil next year to take part in the Rio carnival.

I’m sure some people care, but as far as I’m concerned, it just means a month of blokes who know nothing about football crowding out pubs with their loud and stupid opinions next summer.  It’s bad enough as it is on Sundays but, gaaaaah, spare us from them, someone up above.  Please!

7.15pm – Welcome to a cloudy, slightly chilly, but very welcoming New Lodge for tonight’s Ryman League festival of frollicking fun.

It’s not been fun much, mind, for the hosts.  Just one win and six points so far leaves Craig Edwards side perilously close to the drop zone.

Standing in their way this evening is a thoroughly nailed on mid-table Leiston,but win three wins to their name already, will be dangerous opponents.  As well having beaten ‘Ricay 4-2 in their last visit here.

It’s going to be an intriguing, absorbing evening, as the hosts seek to finally kick-start their season.

1 – Billericay v Leiston Preview

As ever, refresh the page every few minutes, and all the glamour and glitz of a cool Tuesday night at New Lodge will be yours.  Good innit.



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Thurrock v Brentwood Town – LIVE

Thurrock  4-1  Brentwood Town

AFC Hornchurch  3-0  East Thurrock United

Billericay Town  1-2  Bognor Regis Town

Dagenham & Redbridge  1-1  Exeter City

Southend United  1-3  Morecambe


FULL TIME:  And a thumping defeat, albeit a little harsh, for Les Whitton’s side.  In it right until injury time, then blown away.  No doubt about it though, Thurrock thoroughly deserved the win.

6 – Thurrock 4-1 Brentwood – FT Summary

Ah well.  Until the net time, enjoy the weekend, and your football.


95th min – GOALS! ….. THURROCK 4,  Brentwood Town 1  JORDAN CLARK with a cracker of a looping shot from 20 yards, and CHARLIE STIMSON with a low header.  Oops.

INJURY TIME:  And 7 (seven) minutes of it.  Blimey O’Reilly.

88th min – Petrit Elbi runs dangerously for Brentwood into the host penalty area.  Just as he’s about to wriggle clear and shoot, the tackle comes in.  Gaaaaaaah.

86th min – Thurrock corner on the left.  It’s played short.  Say no more.   Chortle.

82nd min – As if to tempt fate, the Thurrock defence switch off, and Sos Yao is through on goal, but shoots straight at keeper Reece Ottley.  Bah!  Really should have done so much better.

81st min – Not been too much creativity although ‘Wood are still in the ascendancy.  A fascinating closing stage of the game awaits.  Something which looked unlikely five minutes before the break.

75th min – Now all Brentwood.  Daniel Subola has had a shot go an inch wide of the left hand post, and sub Jason Dobbs has come close too.  Meanwhile, in Les Whitton’s final throw of the dice, Lippy Mtyanda is on for John Bradley.

70th min – GOAL! ….. Thurrock 2,  BRENTWOOD TOWN 1  A lifeline.  On the right came a harmless looking centre, with plenty of defenders about.  Nobody, however, picked up MARTYN STOKES, somehow alone in the six yard box, and he put it home with ease.

4 – Thurrock 2-1 Brentwood

Game on!

68th min – Brentwood’s response has been a Daniel Subola shot that went about a foor over the bar from 20 yards.  Erm, that’s it.

62nd min – GOAL! ….. THURROCK 2, Brentwood Town 0  A superb one as well.  LOUI HAZELWOOD cracks home a curling free kick from 20 yards out.  Just a minute before that, his shot had cannoned off a post.  Thoroughly deserved.

3 – Thurrock 2-0 Brentwood

A long way back for Brentwood now.

60th min – Nothing too much created in the past seven or eight minutes.  I should emphasise, though, that route-one football is  conspicuous by its absence.  Neat passing around the pitch.  Just need a forward to make the most of it.

57th min – Another Brentwood sub, Jason Dobbs replacing forward Oliver Smith.

54th min – Almost 2-0.  Again on the right.  The impressive Loui Hazlewood sends a curling cross into the box, Charlie Stimson meets it with his head, beating Rhys Madden all ends up, looking a certain goal, until it bounces onto the crossbar and out.  Great football from Thurrock though.

52nd min – In reply, Charlie Stimson twists and turns like a twisty turny thing inside the right of the Brentwood box, but the Thurrock forward’s run and attempted lay-off is cleared.

50th min – Better from Brentwood.  This time Martyn Stokes moves forward on the right.  His shot from 25 yards is deflected well wide.  But this is more like it from ‘Wood.

48th min – Oh, a real chance wasted.  Petrit Elbi charges down a Thurrock punt forward, and races menacingly towards the ‘Fleet penalty area on the right.  Instead of passing to Sos Yao, in space, he instead shoots aimlessly wide.  Gaaaaaaaah,

4.02pm – KICK OFF!  And a Brentwood substitution.  Scott Dixon on for Ryan Spurge.


HALF TIME:  Well, you could see it coming, the pressure that Thurrock were exerting on Brentwood Town, and with the forward lines playing the way they are, it was almost bound to be from an error.  Poor James.  Chin up lad.  Still another 45 to go.

2 – Thurrock 1-0 Brentwood – HT Summary

Right, off for a pie and sun cream.  Laters


42nd min – GOAL! ….. THURROCK 1,  Brentwood Town 0  And it had to come from an error.  Lewis Perkins and Ben Smith combine well on the right to feed in Loui Hazlewood, his low centre goes across the face of goal, and captain JAMES LOVE kicks into his own net.  Ah well.

38th min – Really not much going on.  Another terrible Thurrock corner, a shot whizzing well wide.  Plenty of good midfield play but in the final third, I’ve known a Quaker with a shyness complex to be more dangerous.

32nd min – Down the hosts right, Charlie Stimson combines well with Loui Hazlewood, who gets a low centre in by the bey-line.  It’s by-the-by though as it’s easily cleared.

28th min – But back come the ‘Fleet.  Brad Warner makes a charging run down the right and his low centre goes dangerously into the six yard box, but there’s nobody there to take advantage.

27th min – Corner to Thurrock on the right.  They play it short, and kick in right into a visiting defender.  I stand (or sit) corrected.  Worst.  Corner.  Ever.

 24th min – At the other end, Sos Yao wins Town a free kick on the edge of the area.  “This ain’t all about you, referee.”, bemoans a home official.  Again, chortle.  The shot, from 20 yards by Petrit Elbi, goes harmlessly wide.

22nd min – First real talking point.  Inside the right hand edge of the Brentwood penalty area, Lewis Perkins goes down under pressure.  “Gotta be a pen, ref.”, they yell next to me.  The ref says play on.  Chortle.  It was right, too.

18th min – Bit of a lull in play so I checked last night’s scores.  You can tell that you’ve had enough of the higher echelons of football when you don’t even know what the England score was the day after they played.  I’m turning into a grumpy old man, I tells ye.

14th min – More Town pressure gives them a corner on the left.  It’s centred low, to the edge of the area, and straight to a Thurrock defender.  Worst.  Corner.  Ever.

12th min – Hey, a threat from Brentwood this time, albeit a set piece.  Daniel Subola tries his luck from 30 yards in a central position after a silly host foul.  It goes a couple of feet over the bar.

11th min – And again, Perkins the creator this time, inside the area, laying it to Callum Ibe who’s free on the right, but his shot is hurried and sails over.

10th min – The ‘Fleet have got into their stride early, and a cross from the byeline on the right ends in an off-target header from Perkins again.  But the danger’s there alright.  Nice start by the hosts.

7th min – Ah, first attempt, though you could hardly say it was on goal.  The Thurrock striker Lewis Perkins will hope for better later in the game than a wild shank that is on its way into Kent.

5th min – The sum total of diddly squat minus zero created so far.  Lots of shouting and running around though.  Thurrock in their usual yellow shirts and green shorts, Brentwood in Hearts type maroon shirts and shorts.  Hurrah!.

3pm – KICK OFF!  Oh yes!  And to the sight of a Thurrock official and another media chappie blocking the view entirely so they could have a bit of a chinwag.  I do so love politeness.   Chortle.


2.57pm – The teams come out to the youth sides being very enthusiastic but apathy from everyone else.  The PA tries to blare over a Queen track “And it’s suuuuu. perrrrrr Thurrock.”  Normal.

2.52pm – After the shower – no, not Scotland last night – it’s all sunny here at Ship Lane.  The crowd looks modest but good humoured.  Which is just as well as the Brentwood striker has been announced as Sos Yno, just so’s you know.

2.45pm – Team News:  Brentwood Town go with:

1. – Rhys Madden

2. – James Love (c)

3. – Ryan Spurge

4. – Martyn Stokes

5. – Nigel Seidu

6. – Jonathan Adebayo

7. – Petrit Elbi

8. – John Bradley

9. – Sos Yao

10. – Oliver Smith

11. – Daniel Subola


12. – Gbenga Sonuga

14. – Lindisipho Mtyanda

15. – Jason Dobbs

16. – Scott Dixon

17. – Tim Pitman

So a semblence of continuity in the squad.  Getting to know each other is what teams are all about.  Unless you’re England in 2010 or the Netherlands at any time.


2.40pm – Elsewhere, Billericay Town have had a steady if unimpressive opening month.  They’re up against a team in fine form, though, the visitors having dispatched Canvey Island 5-0 last week.  East Thurrock United have their work cut out, too, although they will feel they have a chance at AFC Hornchurch.

In League Two, Southend United need a bit of a kick-start after their great start was spoiled by a couple of recent defeats.  Dagenahm & Redbridge, meanwhile, will want to build on a superb 4-1 demolition of Colchester United in the JPT on Tuesday.

Intrigue and interest abounds this afternoon.  Just not neccesarily at the football.


2.30pm – A very warm welcome from a mild and very well appointed Ship Lane, home of perhaps one of the unluckiest clubs of the summer, Thurrock, on Non League Day.

The hosts had 3 points deducted, for fielding an ineligible player.  The player himself didn’t know he was suspended because the Sunday League side he played for in Yorkshire had been disbanded.  Then, because of the point deduction, Thurrock slipped into a relegation place.  Just how unlucky is that?

Brentwood Town will be hoping their ill fortune continues today.  A 100% win record so far this season when given the live treatment.  That, sadly, has been just the one game, and four points from their opening six games means a spot in the drop zone.  Les Whitton’s side need a win big time.

1 – Thurrock v Brentwood Preview

As ever, keep refreshing the page every few minutes, and an afternoon of nervous tension, minus liver salts, will be yours.


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Driving Through The Sunshine

It’s been a hectic few weeks for the poor drivers in and around Brentwood.  With the Crossrail infrastructure being put in place, you’d be forgiven for thinking tempers would be frayed as jams around the town centre soared.

Not a bit of it though.  Stuck in a queue one evening, one of our listeners, Tina, saw a somewhat spectacular skyline above Brentwood and felt inspired enough to take a pic as she waited patiently to move about two yards forward.

She was also kind enough to send through a copy of it.  So sit and admire a gorgeous, beautiful sun setting on gorgeous, beautiful Brentwood.

62 - Brentwood Skyline

It has to be better to look at than the boot of the car in front of you.  Sadly, this is typical of Shenfield Road during the week at around 6.30pm.

63 - Wilsons Corner

So, let’s be inspired by beauty.  My thanks to Tina for such a lovely pic.  And let’s be entertained every weekday afternoon between 3 and 6.  News, sport, showbiz gossip, guests, banter, and great music.  That’s a guarantee!

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East Thurrock United v Hampton & Richmond – LIVE

East Thurrock United  0-1  Hampton & Richmond

Brentwood Town  3-2  Great Wakering Rovers

Mansfield Town  3-0  Dagenham & Redbridge

Wycombe Wanderers  2-1  Southend United


FULL TIME:  As I said, one of those days.  Any other time the Rocks may have won comfortably, but that’s how soccerball goes sometimes.  Credit to the visitors, they dug in, and made their own luck.  Something East Thurrock United were right out of.  Ah well.

4 – ETU 0-1 H & R Full Time

Next up will probably be Brentwood Town on Monday.  Or maybe Billericay on Tuesday.  Until then, enjoy yourself, and your football.


9oth min + 2 – Unbelievable Jeff.  Our man Rodney the Refresher pulls off a magnificent save, deflecting a Leon McKenzie piledriver onto the crossbar and over.  Wow.

90th min + 1 – Luke Wanadia’s overhead kick is parried away for a corner.  Which comes to zilch.  Bah.

Injury time:  And very probably a late winner for Brentwood.  Phew.

85th min – The Rocks furiously try to receive the situation , and from around 18 yards, Leon McKenzie hammers a shot in that Chiweshie does really well to parry clear.

81st min – GOAL! ….. East Thurrock United 0,  HAMPTON & RICHMOND 1  Real controversy.  A corner was being aimlessly headed high and wide, the home defence thought it had gone off, the lino and ref said no, it was put back into the six yard box, a scramble, and ALAN BRAY slotted home.

3 – ETU 0-1 H & R

A real talking point.

80th min – More East Thurrock pressure, and Chiweshie does really well to get down low at the left hand post to stop a  Sheehan shot from going in.

78th min – Mitchell Gilbey and Grant Eagle come on for the hosts, replacing Nathan Korateng and Lea Dawson.

77th min – Oh my!  What an opportunity!  Under no pressure, on the edge of his own area, Rodney Chiweshie kicks the ball straight to Tom Stephen from 30 yards out.  With an open goal gaping, he shanks horribly high and wide.

75th min – Steve Sheehan obviously was looking for some sort of payback and is also booked for a tackle from behind.  Bit of the Nigel Niggles creeping in now.

73rd min – Karle Carder, the visiting midfielder, is pulled up sharpish for a crude tackle on Lea Dawson.  He’s booked – and then substituted immediately, presumably for his own good.  Elsewhere – ouch, Brentwood Town have let slip a two goal lead.  Hmmmmm.

69th min – The Rocks are pressing but …. ah, well, you get the feeling it’s one of those days.  It’s certainly not restricted to Rookery Hill though.  There’s not a single goal so far in this afternoon’s Premier League games.  Cracking value for anything up to £60 a pop.

62nd min – Yep, I said that to tempt fate, and it almost worked.  Lovely run again from Wanadia on the right, he cuts inside the area, runs the ball to Connor Witherspoon, and his on-target shot at the Manorway End goal is superbly parried by Rodney Chiweshie and hacked away by the visiting defence.  Grand stuff.

60th min – Plenty of neat possession from the hosts, from defence and midfield, but with selection problems meaning only able to play one upfront, clear-cut opportunities are fewer than Hearts points total.

55th min – Getting back to footballing action, Luke Wanadia has a decent run down the right, gets to the bye-line and creeps into the area.  His low shot is on target but well collected at the near post by Refresher man Chiweshie.

52nd min – First spark of controversy.  East Thurrock win a free kick, then while an H & R defender holds onto the ball to stop the kick being taken, Leon McKenzie pushes him rather vigorously and fierecly in the chest.  The ref gives McKenzie a yellow card.  Other officials may not have been so lenient.

48th min – Just for a second, after a throw-in on the left, Connor Witherspoon looks through on goal inside the area, but as we anticipate the shot, Malvin Kamara steps in and clears the danger.  Nice start by the Rocks this half though.

4.06pm – KICK OFF!  Bit late innit.


HALF TIME:  And it’s been an okay goalless first 45 minutes.  The Rocks have been knocking the ball around well, but the visitors have shown spells of danger too.  It’s been almost an evenly balanced first, with the Rocks having the slightest of edges.  Not bad at all.

2 – ETU 0-0 H & R

Right, off for a Limeade and a Haribo.  Laters.


45th min – As the game winds its way to half time, Tom Stephen marauds forward to try and get something going on the left.  He links up well with Nathan Korateng, which breaks down, but then stays upfield, collects a ball on the edge of the area, and shoots about 3 inches over the bar.  Good stuff.

38th min – A few meaty tackles going in, but the ref to his credit lets the game flow, and from that the Rocks win a corner on the left.  From that Leon McKenzie flashes a far post header wide.

35th min – Nothing too much going on here in the past few minutes.  But elsewhere – yes!  My buddy Stevie boy puts Wycombe 2-1 up against Sarfend.  Can’t help feeling chuffed for him.

29th min – And again H & R, finding success down the left this time.  Moon is thwarted by Darren Bechet rushing off his line to collect, then from another break by Simon Peddie covering back.

27th min – Back come Hampton & Richmond, and a cross from the right is whipped in, finding the head of Charlie Moon on the edge of the six yard box.  The cross is too pacy, though, and the ball hits his head rather than him heading it, ballooning over.

25th min – Luke Wanadia is causing all sorts of problems down the right, and his centre into the Bus Stops End box reaches Leon McKenzie.  He loops his shot over but still, more signs of menace from the hosts.

23rd min – A moment of danger from the visitors.  A free kick, central, a smidgeon over 25 yards out.  Luckily, the trusty boot of Joel Ledgister ensures it goes well over the bar.  Something I remember from his Southend United days.  Chortle.

19th min – Lovely bit of play from Ryan Sammons.  He closes down and blocks an H & R attack, then sends a slide rule pass that Nathan Korateng is onto in a flash.  He’s stopped on the edge of the area, but liquid football, Sammo.

15th min – East Thurrock are settling down well, without creating anything more clear-cut these past few minutes.  Elsewhere, Brentwood Town take their lead in the awkward FA Cup tie.  Hurrah and huzzah!

10th min – And again the hosts cause problems.  A simple Ryan Sammons throw-in is allowed to bounce inside the area, and Lea Dawson is onto it.  His shot lacks power, and is comfortably held by the superbly name Rodney Chiweshie in the H & R goal.  Great shirt as well.  Reminds me of a tube of Refreshers.  Chortle.

6th min – And the Rocks get into their stride.  A good cross wide on the right, level with the penalty area, from Luke Wanadia, and Connor Witherspoon finds space in the the box, his looping header going just over the bar.  Spiffing stuff.

2nd min – First chance falls to the visitors.  A long ball, chase, and Charlie Moon blazes over the Manorway End goal from about 20 yards.

3.03pm – KICK OFF!  Oh yes!


2.59pm – The teams come out to the usual apathy, the Rocks in their normal amber shirts and black shorts and socks, Hampton & Richmond in light blue shirts and socks with white shorts.  All fashioned by Stella McCartney and a sweat shop in Thailand.

2.55pm – Oh my, it’s lovely and sunny here.  Make the most of it, everyone, with the onset of the X Factor, it means bad weather, depressing tv, and people with faces you just can’t punch enough.  A bit like living in Middlesbrough.

2.50pm – Team News:  East Thurrock United go with:

1. – Daren Bechet

2. – Ryan Sammons

3. – Tom Stephen

4. – Simon Peddie

5. – Steve Sheehan (c)

6. – Connor Witherspoon

7. – Luke Wanadia

8. – Stuart Thurgood

9. – Leon McKenzie

10 – Lea Dawson

11. – Nathan Korateng


12. – Mitchell Gilbey

14. – Craig Hughes

15. – Grant Eagle

17. – David Hughes

So, the Rocks again have a squad about as recogniseable as your average Heart of Midlothian libe-up.  Plenty of enthusiasm, though, a decent manager, and as some have already shown, some good, good players.  Hurrah!

2.45pm – Elsewhere, Brentwood Town have a tricky FA Cup tie to negotiate.  Great Wakering Rovers top the Essex Senior League and have a number of players who can and should be playing at a much higher level.

With Billericay Town’s game against Grays Athletic being put back to Sunday at Aveley, it just leaves our local League Two sides also in action.  Both have tricky looking away games.  I must, however, declare an interest, being mates with the Wycombe centre forward, so my legendary lack of bias will ensure an even handed take on things.  But come on Wanderers, and go on Steve lad.

1 – ETU v H & R Preview

2.40pm – Yo, hello kiddiwinks and everyone, welcome to a gloriously sunny Rookery Hill, as we see out the summer in style this afternoon.

Well, the Rocks are defying all pre-season predictions – including possibly a few from themselves too – by holding down a comfortable mid-table place with a young and inexperienced squad.  10 points from their first half a dozen games has been an excellent return so far.

Standing in their way are a team just 16 months ago were a Conference South outfit.  Now they find themselves still seeking their first win, in the drop zone on just two points.  They so need a win to kick-start their campaign.  It has the makings of yet another cracker.


As ever, simply refresh the page every few minutes, and the thrill of a Saturday afternoon in Corringham will be yours, all yours.




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Mixed Derby Day Results As Warriors Brush Aside Airlie Final Challenge

With this weekend’s localised floods washing out the cricket, it was left to our winter sports to keep things ticking over.

Billericay Town, sadly, also had their Ryman Premier derby at Canvey Island postponed, but East Thurrock United had no such problems, sauntering to a 3-0 win over Grays Athletic.  Grimmer news for Brentwood Town in Ryman One North, though, going down 1-3 at Tilbury.

Luckily, the featured live game on Between The Lines came from Wembley Stadium, as Hull FC bid to upset the odds and Wigan Warriors to grab rugby league’s Challenge Cup in front of a soaked Final crowd of 78,000.

3 - Kick Off

Summariser Joe and myself were looking forward to it.

1 – Wigan v Hull Preview

The first half was tense and absorbing, nip and tuck, with hardly anything in it.  The half time scored reflected this as the feeling grew the the Humbersiders could spring a suprise.

2 – Hull 0-6 Wigan HT

The feeling, sadly, was wrong.  In a hugely disappointing second half, Wigan Warriors strolled to a comfortable win, topped off with a piece of Sam Tomkins magic in the dying seconds.  You couldn’t help feeling that Hull had underperformed.

3 – Hull 0-16 Wigan FT

So the Wigan Warriors march on.  Can they make it a Super League double?  Well, nobody could tell by today, as they were so inadequately tested.  The main thing is, though, sport was at least brought to the airwaves!

8 - Panoramic



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Local Sports Summary – And Dan Sarginson Talks To Phoenix FM Sport

It was a busy weekend of local sport.  Here’s how it panned out:

Essex Cricket League

Premier Division

Brentwood beat Colchester & East Essex by 40 runs



Division Two

Billericay beat Leigh-on-Sea by 9 wickets

Billericay move up to 3rd


Ryman League

Premier Division

Billericay Town  3-2  Thamesmead Town  (after trailing 0-2 at half time)

Kingstonian  3-0  East Thurrock United


Division One North

Brentwood Town  2-4  Dereham Town


The featured live game on Between The Lines came from the Twickenham Stoop, where local Super League side the London Broncos completed their home campaign – and their worst one ever – with yet another defeat after succumbing to leaders Huddersfield Giants 12-26.

12 - Throwing It About

It was a very brave performance from the rock bottom Broncos, though, who were well in contention right up until inside the last five minutes.  It was also the last home appearance by England Knights internationalist Dan Sarginson, on his way to title contenders Wigan Warriors.

At pitch side after the game, Dan was kind enough to give Phoenix FM Sport a little take on the game and his spell with the capital club.

Audio – Dan Sarginson Interview

We do, of course, wish Dan every success, and with Wigan Warriors he has every chance of succeeding.  A decent lad like Sarge deserves to.

And that’s what you call a busy weekend of sport!



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Crossrail – The Shape Of Things To Come?

Quite often, in the pleasant summer conditions, I forego the train and the road and instead wander into Phoenix Towers from Shenfield.  The leafy overhang almost forms a natural tunnel, somehow allowing the warmth of the sun to come through, but keeping you cool at the same time.  Very nice indeed.

Perhaps now more locals may be putting on their comfy shoes for a walk as well.  Earlier today, before 2pm, this was the sight that greeted me on the Shenfield Road between the Nuffield Hospital and Middleton Hall Lane.

16 Aug - Shenfield Rd


This is, of course, due to the ongoing construction work of the Crossrail scheme, linking Shenfield with a similarly modest and normally quiet village west of London.  The queues stretched into Brentwood town centre from past Crescent Drive, and from right down the High Street going the other way.

Wilsons Corner, predictably, was extremely busy, and turning into Ongar Road, the knock-on effect was evident too.

16 Aug - Ongar Rd


And this. remember, was a weekday afternoon, with no school run, a couple of hours before the rush hour really kicks in.

Is this the shape of things to come for Brentwood motorists?  If it is – get the train.  At least they tell you when their service is patchy or not going anywhere!

Or better still, have a wander, and enjoy the leafy mix of sun and breeze.  It’s lovely.  And jam free!

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Brentwood Town v Erith & Belvedere – LIVE

Brentwood Town  2-0  Erith & Belvedere

Billericay Town  0-1  East Thurrock United


FULL TIME:  And in the end, an entertaing, desrerved home win.  An outstanding perforannce by Lindiipho Mtyanda was the decisive factor, at times almost unstoppable on the right.  Steve Cavell took his goal well – thank you lino – and Martyn Stokes, leading goalscorer, who’d have thunk it!

5 – Brentwood 2-0 Erith FT

Right, that’s it for a while.  London Broncos and then the Challenge Cup Final in the world of rugby league is taking up my time for a while.  Until the next game, enjoy yourselves, and your football.


90th min – This time Mtyanda, James Love and Jake Cass combine, the latter’s low shot just inside the area going about 3 inches past the near post.  Great stuff.  Three minutes of injury time.

88th min – Yet another Mtyanda run, and this time he has a go himself inside the area.  It’s deflected and almost goes in but is saved.  From that another Brentwood sustutition, Jonathan Adebayo replacing opening scorer Steve Cavell.

84th min – Well under control.  The heads on top of those red and white quartered shirts you can see are dropping.  The full back Mtyanda is causing mayhem down the right, and links up well with the forward line.  Jake Cass was the latest to have a pop at goal from the right flank supply line but it was easily saved.

79th min – All Brentwood now and Steve Cavell marauds forward in the right hand edge of the box, his strong and accurate shot parried away superbly.  The hosts now totally bossing this.  Coach Les WHitton looking and sounding a lot happier.  Which means he’s merely grumpy.  Chortle.

73rd min – GOALLLLL! ….. BRENTWOOD TOWN 2,  Erith & Belvedere 0.  A corner on the right, a bullet header from MARTYN STOKES, wallop, back of the net!  Oh yes!

4 – Brentwood 2-0 Erith

Liquid football, Stokesy!

70th min – All Brentwood now.  E&B keeper Jack Bradshaw has made a couple of outstanding saves from Robbie Rees and Petrit Elbi and Steve Cavell should have wrapped it up in a one-on-one.

65th min –  GOALLLL!!! ….. BRENTWOOD TOWN 1,  Erith & Belvedere 0  At last something!  Lindiipho Mtyanda has been making rampaging runs down the right from full back all this half, and from there, STEVE CAVELL, looking suspiciously offside, slotted a low curler home just inside the box

3 – Brentwood 1-0 Erith

They count, so long as that flag doesn’t go up!


59th min – John Bradley tries an audacious back heel to find a colleague.  It always makes you look stupid if it doesn’t come off.  It makes the defender look worse, though, when they too immediately give the ball away.  Steve Cavell gets a hold of  it and from 25 yards shoots just over the bar.  Hardly liquid football but a good Brentwood effort in the end.

56th min – And that is Anthony Ryan’s last action of the evening, being replaced by Robbie Ryan.

54th min – The closest yet to a goal.  Ryan goes wide on the right himself, turns his defender inside out, and shoots low inside the area.  Bradshaw makes an excellent reflex save but is parried out.  Agonisingly, there’s nobody there to follow it up.  Gaaaaah.

51st min – Much better from Brentwood.  Ball played out wide to James Love, and from the touchline, his cross finds the head of Anthony Ryan.  His effort on goal is looping, however, and comfortably taken by Jack Bradshaw, but still, some danger at last.

48th min – Well, we’ve got some, but again from the visitors.  Good chasing down ends in Rhys Madden and Gbenga Sonuka combining to put the ball out of play on the left.  From that a shot comes in and Madden atones for the situation with an excellent save, the subsequent corner being well defended.

8.47pm – KICK OFF!  Please let it be with a bit more goal chance frolics and fun please.


HALF TIME:  And, well, it’s been okay to watch, without being particularly memorable.  The frustration towards the end of the half and not keeping possession, giving the ball away a bit too easily, could be felt among the Brentwood supporters as well as coach next to me.  As for Erith & Belvedere, nice going forward at times, no cutting edge.  0-0 is probably about right.  But only just.

2 – Brentwood 0-0 Erith HT

Right off for an Irn Bru.  Which I’ll not be giving away.  Laters.


41st min – Rather picture skew now, with dusk, darkening clouds and that.  The coach’s vocabulary has become bluer and darker, too, with Brentwood struggling to hold and keep possession.

36th min – At last the hosts surge forward.  Steve Cavell is in a central position about 30 yards out.  “Wide”, comes the shout from the crowd.  He instead hits a low, rasping volley, destined for the left hand corner of the net until Jack Bradshaw gets a hand to it.  Great stuff.

33rd min – And still the visitors move forward, this time a wicked shot, wide on the left near the bye-line, whistles just over the bar across the face of goal.

31st min – And well might he be.  More visiting pressure, including a free kick, then a goalbound header scrambled away for a corner.  Neither I or my Kentish counterpart could see who made the header, although we both agreed the wooden post obscuring the view looked pretty.  Chortle.

29th min – Must be something about my after-shave.  Yet again, a member of the host club coaching staff sits – or stands – next to me during the game.  Maybe it’s my pearls of wisdom.  Anyway, he shouts at John Bradley for giving the ball away and letting E&B have another pop at goal.  Silent though when Charlie Rolls, at the other end sends in a super little cross from the left, which ends in a Jake Cass shot going just over.  Hard taskmaster, this ‘un.  And not a happy bunny.

24th min – No doubt about it, E&B have taken control after a bright home start.  More joy on the right, the ball is quickly switched, and then a low centre across the six yard box causes panic before it’s cleared – just.

22nd min – And a bit of visiting pressure down the right ends in a cross-cum-shot from over 25 yards that Rhys Madden has to parry out for a corner.  Which is easily defended.  Phew.

19th min – Indeed, Erith & Belvedere are already forced to make a substitution, Kevin Lott coming off and replaced by Danny Willis.  Hurrah, the sun has gone down, and the tunnel folded in.  Just the wire mesh gate and wooden posts in the way now.  Chortle.

16th min – Meanwhile, at New Lodge, I suspected this might happen.  Nathan Korteng has given East Thurrock United the lead at Billericay Town.  Covo’s got his young, young side playing beautifully and sets up that game perfectly.  Missing nothing here, though, with players being treated for a knock.

12th min – The first remote sign of threat from the visitors.  A free kick wide on the left about 35 yards out, hoisted into the area, then a tame header well wide of the far post.  At least I could see it though.

8thh min – As Brentwood are doing most of the attacking, at the end that can’t be seen from the press box, I can summarise that they’ve started well enough without scoring.  In the meantime, I like the E&B kit of red and white quarters.  Almost as much as I liked seeing the women doing some outdoor training walking towards the ground.  And a sausage dog keeps wandering by.  One way or another an interesing start.

3rd min – An early Brentwood Town foray forward.  A shot and a parry away at the Doddinghurst Road End goal, and a shout from the goalie at his defenders.  Who done what I have no idea because of the sun and the tunnel in the way.  I’m sure it was very good though.

7.46pm – KICK OFF!  Oh yes!


7.43pm – The teams come out to waves of healthy apathy.  The tunnel obscures one half of the pitch.  As well as the sun.  The people around me are shielding their eyes with their programme and glaring at club officials.  Chortle.

7.35pm – TEAM NEWS:  Brentwood Town go with:

1. – Ryhs Madden

2. – Lindiipho Mtyanda

3. – Charlie Rolls

4. – Martyn Stokes

5. – Gbenga Sonuga

6. – James Love

7. – Petrit Elbi

8. – John Bradley

9. – Anthony Ryan

10. – Jake Cass

11. – Stephen Cavell


12 – Jonathan Adebayo

14. – Jay Simmons

15. – Jack Gardner

16. –  Robbie Rees

17. – Tim Pitman

A few changes in the summer, inevtably, with a new manager, Les Whitton.  Let’s have three new points.



7.30pm – Elsewhere, big derby at New Lodge tonight in the Ryman Premier.  Billericay Town started Saturday with a solid point at Harrow Borough.  Meanwhile, East Thurrock United had Saturday’s live treatment, and their 2-2 draw with Bury Town, as you know, was an absolute cracker.

Tomorrow, though, is something else.  England v Scotland.  Who do my loyalties lie with?  Well, what do you expect from a Hearts supporter?  Yep, that’s right, couldn’t care less one way or the other.  I’ll be watching Gold and I’m Alan Partridge.  Ah ha,


7.25pm – A very good afternoon from a very cool summer’s evening here at the Arena.  Brrrr, I should’ve known shorts wouldn’t be much cop for football.

Early days, of course, and predictable though it was, Brentwood Town’s opening day defeat at Maldon & Tiptree was disappointing, especially as Martyn Stokes had given the boys an early lead.

Never mind, that cannot be changed.  What they can do now is brush themselves off and get some points at the expense of their Kentish visitors.  With that extra eagerness of wanting to put on a show for their first home game, this could be a spiffing evening.

1 – Brentwood v Erith Preview

As ever, just keep refreashing the pages every few minutes, and the delights and splendour of a cold Tuesday night next to the A12 will be yours.



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Fun, Frolics, And A Trip Down The A128

Just a little update, letting you know that I am just about alive after a hectic weekend!

Covering a Ryman Premier clash for the wonderful ‘Between The Lines’ made Saturday busy, but hey the Edinburgh derby – and an unlikely win for my beloved Hearts! – has made the weekend super tiring!

Not to worry, I’ll be there, from 3pm ,every weekday, giving you:

Spiffing music – hits from up and down the decades right up to today!

Showbiz gossip – how could we get by without the latest Beiber gaffe?

News – the very latest from here and across the globe.

Sport – regular bulletins and updates on the local and national scene.

Barr Celebration

And, of course –

TRAVEL BULLETINS!  Twice an hour, with updates in between if anything happens, making sure your drive home is as smooth as possible.

So, tune into 98 FM.  online, on the Phoenix 98 FM phone app, or tune-in radio, and you never know, you may even hear someone singing “This is my story, this is my song, follow the Hearts and you can’t go wrong!”

And let’s face it, you won’t get that anywhere else!

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East Thurrock United v Bury Town – LIVE

East Thurrock United  2-2  Bury Town

Harrow Borough  1-1  Billericay Town

Maldon & Tiptree  3-1  Brentwood Town

Dagenham & Redbridge  2-0  York City

Hartlepool United  0-1  Southend United


FULL TIME:  And the curtain comes down on an absolute cracker of a game.  A youthful Rocks side, slung together at the last minute, put up a superb effort, against one of the genuine title favourites, and could easily have won it at the death.  Liquid football.

7 – ETU 2-2 Bury FT

Next up is the Rocks derby game at Billericay Town on Tuesday.  Until then, enjoy the weekend, and your football.


Injury time – 5th minute – Ohhhhhh!  After the earlier corner was only half cleared, a shot comes in, resulting in another Rocks corner at the Bus Stops End goal on the left.  From that, Menga has a free header at the far post, but it goes agonisingly wide.

Injury time – 3rd minute – Everyone falls asleep at a visiting substitution.  Except for that man Bryant.  A stinging shot is parried away for a corner.

Injury time – 1st minute – And a Bury Town free kick, from 22 yards, goes just wide of the left hand post.  Five minutes of it here.

90th min – David Bryant has, in managerial parlance, worked his socks off, running, hassling, cajoling, and scoring, but that was one punt too long to go for.  The mind was willing, but the legs just couldn’t do it.  Tremendous effort.

87th min – Bury’s Nathan Taylor also goes into the book for a crude hack on the left on the impressive Tom Stephen.

85th min – Now Steve Sheehan sees yellow for separating Seb Dunbar from the path of the ball.  He tries to protest his innocence but laughing has he does so makes it less than effective.  Chortle.

80th min – A long delay while a bit of handbags breaks out after David Bryant is flattened on the edge of the area.  Bury Town’s Seb Dunbar gets a sneaky punch in on Bryant in the aftermath, too, which isn’t seen by either ref or lino, so both get a yellow.  The free kick, inevitably, comes to nothing.


73rd min  – GOALLL!!! ….. East Thurrock United 2,  BURY TOWN 2  It’s been coming, I guess.  A corner on the right, scramble inside the six yard box, and ADAM BAILEY-DENNIS bundles home.

6 – ETU 2-2 Bury

Only one winner here now.  Meanwhile Lheureux Menga replaces Mitchell Gilbey for East Thurrock United.

71st min – A bit of respite.   Some lovely build-up play down the right flank, Mitchell Gilbey beats the offside trap, but he is tackled just as he’s about to pull the trigger.  The Rocks are running themselves into the ground here, giving their all.  Whatever happens, a superb home effort.

66th min – Pretty much one way traffic – as we feared it might be from the start.  Seb Dunbar has put over the bar a glorious chance to equalise, in a central position, unmarked, from about 10 yards out.  Squeaky bottom time.

61st min – This is the part of the game I like.  Players and supporters getting tense so shouting angrily and the ref and lino about any perceived slight for their team.  Lots of chortles from me which obviously doesn’t go down to well, as the visitors press.  Still, chortle.

56th min – GOALLL!!! ….. East Thurrock United 2,  BURY TOWN 1  The warning wasn’t heeded, and from the edge of the area on the right, BILLY CLARK smashes in a tremendous low volley into the left hand corner of the net.

5 – ETU 2-1 Bury

Game on!

54th min – Bury Town try to get things going.  A surging David Bridges run is put out for a corner, which is taken by Darren Bechet.  But then Bridges and Seb Dunbar cause chaos in the six yard box.  Again, the corner comes to nothing, after a visiting shove doesn’t go unnoticed.

48th min – That man David Bryant is making a nuisance of himself yet again, brushing aside the taller Bury defender on the edge of the area.  He lays the ball to Luke Wanadio on the left, and his shot is parried for a corner, which is easily cleared.  More encouraging signs though,

16.02pm – KICK OFF!  Super stuff.


HALF TIME:  And not quite so live.  Apologies for the loss of coverage but I’ve now put the shilling into the leccy meter and the dongle shows that Everything Everywhere means you can’t get anything anywhere.  Stupid Kevin Bacon

Anyway, five minutes before the break, great work from Luke Wanadio on the left, his cross is blocked, Tom Stephen does the honours at the second attempt, and DAVID BRYANT buries it at the far post.  Oh yes.

4 – East Thurrock United 2-0 Bury Town HT

Right, off for a decent dongle and a pie.  Laters.


37th min – Emboldened by the goal, Tom Stephen gets in on the act, and his low shot just inside the left hand edge of the area goes narrowly wide.  The Suffolk visitors have tried to get some pressure going of their own, but frustration has told, with Billy Clark being booked for a late tackle.

31st min – GOALLLLL! ….. EAST THURROCK UNITED 1,  Bury Town 0  What a marvellous example of chasing a lost cause.  Nathan Korateng, faces his own goal on the half way, wide on the left, somehow dispossesses his opponent, and runs menacing to the left hand edge of the area.  He low centre across the six yard box is perfect, beyond both keeper and back line, and DAVID BRYANT taps in at the far post.

3 – ETU 1-0 Bury Town

Liquid football!


29th min – The hosts are getting joy from wide crosses into the area.  Covo, sitting in the press box, is encouraged, and comments “They don’t like it there.”  Not quite Corporal Jones, but close enough.

25th min – Ooh, Nathan Koranteng is set free on the right, but his shot on the edge of the area swerves just wide of the left hand post.

2 – ETU v Bury Town – Mid 1st Half

Decent game this.

22nd min – Elsewhere, early goals in Ryman One North, as a 17th minute Martyn Stokes opener for Brentwood – hurrah! – is wiped out by Ben Bredbury – hurroo.

19th min – Back come Bury Town, though, but their free kick and corner from the training ground don’t go to plan.  Unless they’re lulling the Rocks  into a false sense of security with a couple of soft attempts at goal.

16th min – And the Rocks respond in kind.  A Ross Parmenter free kick, wide on the right, causes panic in the Manorway End goal before being scrambled clear.  Good competitive stuff.

13th min – First moment of real danger, and it’s from the visitors.  Simon Peddie fails to clear wide on the right, the ball is fed to Billy Clark on the edge of the area, and his lob grazes the top of the bar and over.  Phew.

10th min – Rocks keeper Darren Bechet punches a Bury Town corner clear.  Behind his goal is a Bury director.  I’m not saying he stands out but his Elton John tribute act must be coming along a treat, as he’s seemingly dressed for a gig straight after the game.

 5th min – Nowt much to report, other than a lino missing a handball about three yards in front of him, much to the ire of the aforesaid Neil.  Chortle.

3.01pm – KICK OFF!  Oh yes!


2.58pm – The teams come out to polite, lukewarm applause.  An improvement on last season then.

2.55pm – The crowd here is low on numbers but high on anticipation.  Nice weather and a convivial atnosphere.  Helped by the obvious sprucing up of Rookery Hill.  Plenty of paint afresh.

2.50pm – Looking through the rather splendid programme, my eye was drawn not only to secretary Neil’s realism, but also today’s ref.  Neil West was the guy that was given dog’s abuse a couple of weeks ago at Concord.  This could be fun.

2.45pm – TEAM NEWS:  East Thurrock United go with:

1. – Darren Bechet

2. – Connor Witherspoon

3. – Tom Stephen

4. – Simon Peddie

5. – Steve Sheehan (c)

6. – Ross Parmenter

7. – Luke Wanadio

8. – Mitchell Gilbey

9. – Craig Hughes

10. – David Bryant

11. – Nathan Koranteng


12. – L’hereux Menga

14. – Lee Scott

15. – Tom Anderson

16. – Ryan Sammons

17. – David Hughes

So pretty much a brand new squad for Covo, who had seven of his side that took to the play-offs at Lowestoft leaving in the summer, along with some in the past week.  In the circumstances, it’s almost an achievement to have a squad.  Blimey O’Reilly.


2.35pm – Looking around the grounds,  Billericay Town have a nice little tester at Harrow Borough, and ooh, proper needle match for Brentwood Town, a bit of bad feeling emanated last season when they played Maldon.  Chortle.

In League Two Southend United have a long trek to Peter Mandelson country, which is lovely, and the Daggers kick off their home campaign against York.  All exciting stuff.  So much so I’m nearly roused from my afternoon nap.

2.30pm – Hello, how the devil are you?

My, it’s been such a long time – far too long.  But still, it matters not a jot, we’re all here now, and jolly good show.

I must admit to being slow on the comings and goings of non-league football locally in the summer months.  While my netbook broke down I’ve taken a break from the beautiful game as well.

What I do know is that John Coventry will have his boys raring to go against impressive Suffolk visitors.  A spiffing first day encounter looks a cert.

1 – East Thurrock United v Bury Town Preview

As ever, just refresh the page every few minutes, and all the drama, fun and frolic of 90 minutes in Corringham will be yours.


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10 Things We Have Learned In The Past Couple Of Weeks

Well, what have we learned?

1.  That the will of the Brentwood public will ensure that parking charges will be what they always should’ve been in the first place.

2.  That as soon as Wimbledon has finished, nobody actually cares, or even remembers much, that Andy Murray won.

3.  You can’t book a room for love nor money on a Friday at the Holiday Inn by the Brook Street roundabout.  Well, actually, you can apparently …..

4.  That the reformed Sugarbabes, who aren’t allowed to be called the Sugarbaes, shouldn’t also be allowed near a microphone.

5.  Crossrail is a euphemistic term for clogged up roads and broken down trains.

6.  Farmers near New Lodge back off and fall silent, if Billericay Town supporters don’t just take their aggression and rudeness, and instead tell said farmers what they think of them.

7.  The M25 is a coded term for “add at least an hour to your journey time.”

8.  Hearts may have almost gone to the wall, but Hibernian are officially the worst ever Scottish team to ever play in European competition.  Chortle.

9.  The people of Brentwood and Billericay, and everywhere in between, are a good decent sort, which makes you be proud to be a part of them.

10.  Providing them with a mix of travel, news, sport, showbiz gossip, and great music up and down the decades, between 3 and 6 every weekday afternoon, really is a privilege.  Thank you.



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Adding A Bit Of Drive To The Summer Holidays

Well, it’s all been go in Phoenix Towers these past few weeks, as summer time really does seem to kick in between 3 and 6pm during the week!

All manner of news stories seem to have broken during those hours, and sadly few of them uplifting, but always dramatic.  Political intrigue, criminal verdicts, Elton John’s new haircut, it’s all come out in the wash!

Talking of Elton, the showbiz gossip has carried on regardless, with an endless stream of irrelevance about so-called celebrities, that somehow stick in your mind and become the topic of conversation at work.  I bet you all know, despite yourselves, exactly what the reformed original Sugarbabes are now called.  I know what I’ve called them too.

And, well, the live sport on Drive has been coming through thick and fast.  After the drama of Wimbledon, and Andy Murray’s unlikely comeback one gloriously sunny afternoon (after, of course, I’d written him off at two sets down!), the intensity goes up another level as the Ashes rolls into town.


With all this, plus your local events guide, music up and down the decades right up to the present day headliners, it’s amazing that the travel bulletins are somehow fitted in.  But they are, two every hour, plus updates in between if something is going on on our roads or our trains.  After all, Drive is all about people on the move.

With all this packed into just three whirlwind hours, how could you dare miss it?  See you during the week, then, from 3.  It’s bound to be spiffing, you know.



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Lions Roar Makes Rebels Yell

A busy old time during the evening rush hour this week.  Sadly, there’s been some serious road traffic accidents, as well as severe delays on the train.  It’s been no picnic for a commuter.

This is where we try to keep things going.  As well as the latest travel bulletins, if you’re stuck in a jam, or waiting on a platform, you want great music, and a mix of news, showbiz gossip, and sport.

Latterly, Laura Robson gave us something to smile about at Wimbledon this afternoon.  So, though, did the Lions this morning!  Sort of, anyway.


As regular listeners know, there’s been full summaries from every Lions game so far, as well as after match comments from the players.  The reports come from a trusty source, the humble phone, straight after the game!

Today, the Lions rumbled onto face the Melbourne Rebels, buoyed by their win in the 1st test at the weekend.  For the last time in midweek this is how they fared.

[audio:|titles=Rebels 0-35 Lions]

And so, onto Saturday and the 2nd test.  To get the low down on that, you’ll have to tune into to the wonderful Steve and Between The Lines from 4pm on Saturday.  But hey, it’s been fun to have Drive invaded by Lions this summer!


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1st Test: Lions Let Off By Last Gasp Miss For Famous Win

If you missed all the action from Brisbane earlier, my goodness, you missed something else!


In a match as absorbing and thrilling from first minute to last, it all hinged on the last kick of the game.  For a breathless summary of an epic test, just click below.

[audio:|titles=Australia 21-23 Lions]

One thing’s for sure, this test series is alive and kicking.  Next Saturday’s 2nd test is unmissable.  But if you do happen to somehow miss the unmissable, fear not, there will be full updates here right up to the end of the Lions tour.


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24 Hours From Hutton

Well, it’s been a busy week on Drive.  We’ve had a rock band, a businessman, and now a report live from arguably the greatest race on the planet!

‘Between The Lines’ presenter Steve Roberston hot-footed it over the channel to sample the delights of all the Aston Martins and Audis vying for victory, on a track almost as long as a traffic jam on the A12.

Drive listeners were treated to the wit and wisdom of our Steve.  And listen out for the unintentional wit at the end where one dimwit presenter doesn’t know how to put the phone down!

[audio:|titles=Le Mans 24 Hour Preview]

Hear more from Steve at Le Mans on Between The Lines from 4pm on Saturday afternoon.  Not only that, but there will also be a full summary on the Wallabies v Lions 1st test in Brisbane.  Unmissable!



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Bats, Balls, Bails, And Plenty Of Flannels

Things are gathering apace in the Essex Cricket League, and with about a third of the way through, things are taking shape.  This weekend’s fixtures have 11.30am starts, and throw up some intriguing battles.  Here’s our local clubs games:


Premier Division

Brentwood (6th)  v  Buckhurst Hill

Shenfield (7th)  v  Wanstead


Division Two

Gidea Park & Romford  v  Billericay (4th)

Hutton (1st)  v  Hornchurch


Division Three

Epping  v  Old Brentwoods (8th)

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The Drive Live Session: Voodoo Room

It was an absolute pleasure to have Andy, Pete, and John live in the studio this afternoon for a chat and a tune or two.  Voodoo Room were indeed live on Drive.


With plenty of experience playing and recording, with some legendary artists, it seemed rude not to ask them for a little treat for the Drive listeners.  No sooner said than done.  The sound of Hendrix and Cream filled the airwaves.  Wonderful.

The chat and tunes can be heard here:

[audio:|titles=Voodoo Room Chat & Tunes]


After an all too brief stay, they had to be on their way on a busy UK tour.   They are, however, welcome ti pop in any time and brighten up the school run or the rush hour.

Spiffing stuff!






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Lions Driving On

Well, after a week full of traffic jams and delays on the road, and not too much to cheer the soul with the increasingly gloomy news headlines, at least there’s one bright spark.

The British & Irish Lions are on tour down under, and regular listeners will know all about how they’re getting along through the week on Drive, and at weekends on Between The Lines, with regular match summaries and team news.

Until today it was 4 wins out of 4 on tour in Hong Kong and Australia.  With just a week before the 1st test, could they make it a resounding 5 out of 5?  Of course they could!

Here’s a summary of the Lions latest win.

[audio:|titles=NSW Waratahs 17-47 British & Irish Lions]

As the summer (hopefully) steps up a gear, the Lions tour looks certain to hot up considerably over the next three weeks.

If you can’t see the games, worry not, Drive and Between The Lines will make sure you don’t miss a thing!


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Cricket: Far From Overs, Locally

It would be very remiss of us to overlook the national summer sport.  Essex has always had a lively cricket club scene and this season is proving to be no exception.  Here’s the latest Essex Cricket League results:


Premier Division

Brentwood (171-1) beat Chingford (170) by nine wickets to go 3rd in 10 team division

Shenfield (225-5) beat Buckhurst Hill (219) by five wickets and climb out of the drop zone to 8th.


Division One

Fives and Heronians (203) lost to Ardleigh Green (273) by 70 runs and slip to 6th

Harold Wood (178) lost to Hadleigh & Thundersley (256-7) by 78 runs and fall to 5th


Division Two

Billericay (198-6) beat Hutton (197) by 4 wickets

Billericay top the table, Hutton 3rd


Division Three

Old Brentwoods (133-7) beat Pegasus & Corringham (131) by 3 wickets and leap to 5th.

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Getting You Home In Spiffing Style

I’ve been suitably telt off by the Head Phoenix, so now here I am, bringing colour, delight, and the latest on the B186.

It’s ironic, really, but I don’t actually drive.  Hardly ever have either.  In the short phase of time where I was behind a wheel, the doctors and nurses found I had a condition which precluded me from driving.  And it wasn’t even lack of driving ability.

No matter, though, as I’m entirely dependent on public transport, so I know how vital it is to know if getting from A to B entails having to now go via the C to get there.

Of course, tuning in for three hours, just to be told that Ingrave Road is clear, or the 4.39 to Southend Victoria is three minutes late, isn’t conducive to a spiffing time.  Usually, anyway.  So, of course, there’s plenty more besides.

Not only do you get updates from this:


And this:


You get your


As well the latest sport locally and nationally


You get a delve into local events:


News every half hour


And, of course, great music, from the latest bands to hits up and down the decades


So why not make the trip home that much more fun?  Spiffing music, travel bulletins that are actually for your area, news, sport, showbiz, it’s three hours of fun and frolics every weekday between 3 and 6pm.

Hurrah!  See you soon, chaps and chapesses.



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Broncos Shock Saints To Kickstart Season As Football Sides Ends Theirs

With all of our local non-league football teams issues definitely sorted, and Football League sides almost definitely sorted as well, the Phoenix FM Sport roving reporters turned up at the Twickenham Stoop to follow the fortunes of our local Super League side the London Broncos.


With their season approaching the halfway stage, things were looking grim.  Just two wins all season, with no home wins to speak of, it looked as if a painful afternoon was in store as title contenders St. Helens visited, having never lost in the capital for a decade.

It was even worse for Joe and I.  We mistakenly thought it was a 3pm kick-off.  Wrong!  It was 1pm.  By the time we got there, the game was well underway.  Our summary was short on detail but big on enthusiasm:

[audio:|titles=1 – Broncos 12-10 HT and early 2nd half]

The Broncos staff, however, went beyond the call of duty, and kindly opened a side gate so we could watch the second half.  And what a half it was as the Broncos lead crept up and time ticked away.


A late St, Helens try had the match on a knife-edge, with the Broncos holding just an 18-14 advantage going into the last 10 minutes.  But in the heat of the battle, Michael Witt kept his cool.  A penalty, a drop goal, and the Broncos were incredibly home, handing out a sensational defeat on the title hunters.

Joe and I were delighted:

[audio:|titles=2 – Broncos 21-14 St. Helens FT]

That wasn’t all though!  As we made our way pitch side, hero of the hour Michael Witt strolled across to us.  He was more than happy to give Phoenix FM Sport his take on things.

[audio:|titles=3 – Michael Witt Interview]

So, perhaps we may have only seen 40 minutes, but we were lucky enough to see the most remarkable 40 minutes in the entire Super League so far this season, with lowly London making life Hell for the Saints!


Local Football / Super League Results


Billericay Town  1-0  Maidenhead United  (Billericay relegated from Conference South)

Brentwood Town  1-3  Romford  (Brentwood finish 10th in Ryman One North)

Whitehawk  1-0  East Thurrock United  (East Thurrock play Lowestoft away in Ryman Premier play-offs)

Dagenham & Redbridge  0-1  York City (Dagenham avoid relegation from League Two – just!)

Southend United  0-1  Morecambe  (Southend finish mid-table in League Two

London Broncos  21-14  St. Helens


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Last Gasp Heartbreak For ‘Ricay – Again

A frenzied, helter skelter 90 minutes at New Lodge ended yet again in injury time disaster for Billericay Town, who now look almost certain to be relegated from the Conference South after their 3-2 defeat by Staines Town.

A summary of the evening’s proceedings is here.

[audio:|titles=Billericay 2-3 Staines ( 56 secs )]

Other results:

Thamesmead Town  1-2 Brentwood Town (Steve Butterworth and Neil Cousins with the goals)

Cray Wanderers  2-2  East Thurrock United (A Sam Higgins double rescues a point for the Rocks)


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The 83 Year Itch – Southend United At Wembley

Their supporters have waited.   And waited.  And waited.  And then some.

Never appeared in a cup final there.  And just one re-arranged league game in 1930 their solitary visit.  Wembley Stadium has never been kind to one  of our local League Two sides, Southend United.

But after a frenetic, tumultuous, epic night at Roots Hall in February, the Shrimpers, along with over 30,000 fans, were going to their first ever cup final at the home of football.

The result, frankly, was immaterial.  Their opponents for the Johnstones Paint Trophy, Crewe Alexandra, are a division above Southend, and beat them home and away in the play-offs last season.

We hoped for a win, but fully expected defeat.  Just being there, however, was enough.  Joe and I were determined, along with a huge part of South Essex, to make the most of it.

[audio:|titles=1 – Southend v Crewe Preview]

They came in fancy dress.  Smurfs were popular.  Human beer bottles and super heroes were also in evidence.  Almost ever Southend supporter, though, had made the effort to at least wear something in their side’s navy colours.  Off the pitch, they were painting Wembley blue.

Which was just as well.  As expected, the heavily outnumbered Crewe fans were celebrating soon enough.  A goal up after just five minutes.  We feared the worst.  We needn’t have though.  Only the wrong refereeing decision had cost Southend the chance of a first half equaliser.  We reached the break in good spirits.

[audio:|titles=2 – Southend 0-1 Crewe HT]

Being a league above Southend United, though, Crewe Alexandra soon exerted their superiority again.  Within a few minutes of the second half Max Clayton had made it 2-0 to the Cheshire club.  There really was no way back.

No matter.  Southend United had waited 83 years just to make it there.  The fans, if not the team, had certainly made the most of it.  Crewe were worthy winners but certainly hadn’t spoiled the party.

[audio:|titles=3 – Southend 0-2 Crewe FT]

And so off went the 30,000+ Shrimper Armyfoot soldiers, back to South Essex or the metropolis to carouse the evening away.  Joe and I chose Carnaby Street to finish off our day.  It somehow seemed right, on a day Southend United made history, to have a wander down one of London’s most liveliest and historic roads.

Should it take a similar time for Southend United to return to Wembley, we’ll all be long since departed.  It’s perhaps why we really made the most of it!


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A Bizarrely Good Friday In Yorkshire

With all the incessant bad weather around, wiping out so much local sport, my fears were great.  Ever since the fixtures were announced, myself and a few others had planned and looked forward so much to Good Friday.

A chance to cover one of our local League Two clubs, Southend United, followed by an opportunity take in an evening game of my first love, rugby league, is rarer than a Spurs title challenge.

I feared the worst with all the snow and rain these past few months  but lo and behold, when Good Friday came, the good weather came with it!  Luck was on our side.

First up was a Northern Counties East League Premier Division game between Glasshoughton Welfare, near Castleford, and Nostell Miners Welfare.  A big local derby and massively important in their relegation battle.

It’s the equivalent of the Essex Senior League, so just a fiver secured entry.  Just over 300 crammed into the tiny ground to see a host player miss from less than a foot out, a bizarre own goal, a great penalty save, and an injury time winner as Glasshoughton, having played five more games than their opponents secured a priceless 2-0 win.

Onwards to Valley Parade.  A new Shrimpers boss at the helm, the perma-tanned Phil Brown, as they took on this season’s League Cup finalists, Bradford City.

An excellent crowd of over 10,000 were silenced by this early salvo.

[audio:|titles=(1) – Southend Early Goals]

It was comfortable throughout the first half for Southend, within even the ref giving them a helping hand, not seeing the ball clearly cross the line from a Bradford free kick.  Not that either one of the Southend United media correspondents or I minded.

[audio:|titles=(2) – Bradford 0-2 Southend HT]

It all changed in the second half, though, as Bradford threw the kitchen sink at Southend.  In the end, the Shrimpers were grateful to pick up a point.

[audio:|titles=(3) – Bradford 2-2 Southend FT]

After that little Easter treat, we travelled, via the old Bradford Park Avenue stadium, to the Jungle, home of Super League side Castleford Tigers.  A local derby with bitter rivals Wakefield Trinity Wildcats awaited us.

I was particularly pleased, having supported our local SL side the London Broncos, that their scoreboard was broken and that it still showed the Broncos winning score from a fortnight ago!

Soon enough the big crowd was packed in and the game, as well as atmosphere, was ferocious.  Local pride is a massive motivator.  At least for one side.  Wakefield totally outplayed Castleford from the first minute of the opening half to last.  25-0 flattered Castleford, who went off to a crescendo of boos.  At least the cheerleaders were nice!

The riot act had clearly been read to them, though, and by mid-way through the second half, an astonishing comeback was on as the Tigers pulled it back to 16-25.  The home fans were gradually going delirious!

It was not to be, though.  Two quick tries for Wakefiled made it 37-16 to them inside the last 10 minutes.  Until the bizarre kicked in.  An explosion on the roof above us, the outbreak of a fire, and the match was quickly abandoned, with the score at the time counting as the result.

As I made my way back to the car, and home, to say I was breathless was an understatement, as I ran to avoid the stadium fire, and some warring factions of supporters outside.  It was almost like being back in the 80’s.

[audio:|titles=(4) – Good Friday Summary]

So to sum up, a home win, a decent point, a derby battle and a roof on fire.  What a Good Friday it really was!  Please, Football League chappies, make sure either Dagenham or Southend are away in Yorkshire on Good Friday 2014.  It’ll make my year!

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Over The Sticks, Under The Bar – The Weekend Preview

As time runs out for some teams, with others having plenty to spare, the weekend preview is here so you have enough to pick and choose what local team you can and support.

[audio:|titles=Local Sports Weekend Preview 23-24 March 2013]
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Spring Is Here (Antarctic Version) – The Weekend Review

For those that weren’t rained or frozen off, it was overall a pretty good weekend for our sides.  Find out just how well here.

[audio:|titles=Local Sport Weekend Review 9-10 Mar 2013]




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Home Comforts – The Weekend Preview

Lots of lovely local sport for you to go and see.  To find out when and where, the weekend preview is here.

[audio:|titles=Local Sport Weekend Preview 9-10 Mar 2013]
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Aiming High, Lying Low – The Weekend Review

For news on a surprisingly good away win in football, and a terribly cataclysmic defeat in rugby, the weekend review is here.

[audio:|titles=Local Sports Weekend Review 2-3 Mar 2013]
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Hope Springs Eternal – The Weekend Preview

For news on a vital relegation scrap, and a local derby in prospect, the weekend preview is here.

[audio:|titles=Local Sports Weekend Preview 2-3 March]
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Brentwood Town v Grays Athletic – LIVE

Brentwood Town  0-1  Grays Athletic

Dorchester  6-1  Billericay Town

East Thurrock United  0-2  Wealdstone

Barnet  2-0  Southend United


FULL TIME:  A full blooded game, plenty of commitment, low on quality.  Grays probably just about deserve their win.  But only just.  And oh my, what another disappointing night for our sides.

[audio:|titles=6 – Brentwood 0-1 Grays Full Time Summary]

That’s about it chaps and chapesses.  Until the next time, enjoy the week, and your football.


Injury time:  A hard fought game.  Does it have a sting in the tail?  Neil Cousins is now on for Daryl Robson

90th min – The lino’s flag saves Brentwood’s skins as a Jack West shot was goalbound.

88th min – Jared Small replaces Joao Carlos for Grays.

85th min – A host free kick from wide on the left comes to nought after Abs Thompson was impeded.  But at last Brentwood are getting forward.

80th min – Sam Bantick comes on for Lewis Frost, seconds after the ball is cleared off the Brentwood line after panic from a corner on the left.  The visitors are well on top but, encouragingly, haven’t killed the game off as they should have done.

78th min – A bout of handbags breaks out, but we don’t know why, too busy excitedly chatting about seeing Ross County in the Champions League.  Grays get the free kick, but it’s cleared.

75th min – Grays in control here.  A corner on the left and Junior Baker heads just over the bar.  Bloomin’, blinkin’ cold too.  Not looking froward to the trudge back to the rail station one bit.

73rd min – Danny Bunce goes forward menacingly for Grays, but from 20 yards out, clears Doddinghurst Road with his shot.

69th min – All of our local sides fortunes have gone completely Olly Murs.

[audio:|titles=5 – Brentwood 0-1 Grays Mid 2nd Half]

So here’s some good news for a change.

65th min – That should have been 2-0.  A corner on the right isn’t cleared, and from 12 yards out, Jack West has a free shot, level with the far post, but hurries and puts it wide.

62nd min – Clearly frustrated, Lewis Frost gets himself booked for a reckless tackle on Jeff Hammond.  Ouch.  I could feel it from here.  Reckless but not pre-meditated.

59th min – Nice little shimmy from Daryl Robson on the left touchline, halfway inside the Grays half.  He passes to Lewis Frost on the edge of the Grays area.  His shot is still heading somewhere in the direction of Chelmsford.

57th min – Back to long hoofs and effort.  “Great kick”, says one Grays defender to his keeper, as it goes straight out of play.  Terrible second half so far.

52th min – The ref gives someone on the Grays bench a piece of his mind after he’d been the subject of that person’s mind pieces a bit too often.  Chided like a naughty kid.  Chortle.  Meanwhile, a Grays corner on the right is defended.  And then the left.

47th min – Nice run from Abs Thompson on the left who passes to Abs Seymour on the edge of the area, and ….. oh, you know the rest.  On the A12, that shot.

8.53pm – Kick Off!  Oh, go on, then.


HALF TIME:  After matching the visitors for so long, it really is hard lines on Brentwood.  There’s been a cigarette paper between the two sides.  The game is all about goals, though, and the visitors put the one clear-cut chance they had away.

[audio:|titles=4 – Brentwood 0-1 Grays HT]

Right, off for a Bovril and thermals.  Laters.


43rd min – GOAL! ….. Brentwood Town 0,  GRAYS ATHLETIC 1   Rough justice on the hosts as JACK WEST gives the title chasers the lead from close-range.

[audio:|titles=3 – Brentwood 0-1 Grays]

Plenty of time to come back though.


38th min – In frustration, Abs Seymour mistimes a tackle completely and takes out Grays’ Craig Pope on the right hand touchline just inside the Brentwood half.  Could easily have been a yellow but the ref decided a chat and a coffee and doughnut would suffice.

34th min – Should have been 1-0 to the hosts.  Great work by Daryl Robson and Lewis Frost through the middle of the park puts Abs Seymour clear on the edge of the area but he blasts the ball over the bar.  Great chance, that was.

30th min – Now its’ Grays turn to put the ball in the net, through Jack West, but long after the ref had blown his whistle.

28th min – Really opening up now, both sides using their pace.  Abs Seymour again caught offside in a menacing position and then a Grays corner on the right caused a moment or two of panic.  Good stuff.

24th min – Abs Seymour tumbles in the Grays box but the ref says no can do.

[audio:|titles=2 – Brentwood 0-0 Grays – Mid 1st Half]

Not bad so far.

18th min – Proper action at both ends.  Abs Thompson is presented with a clear shot at goal on the edge of the Grays box but shoots over.  Then Grays immediately go down the other end with a hit and chase, Joao Carlos causing keeper Richard Wray to momentarily fumble before collecting at the second attempt.

16th min – Ross Wall smashes the ball home from around 18 yards, but the ref had blown some time before he whacked it, for offside.  Just as well it went in or it’d have been a yellow card.

12th min – I’d like to say how well worked the last couple of Brentwood moves have been, and what Abs was involved, but the view is so restricted it has deemed such a task impossible.  It’s why I love the non-league game, chortlesome little quirks like that.

8th min – Nice passing between home midfielders set Abs Seymour away on the left,  Unfotunately he was a mile offside, and even more unfortunately the lino didn’t have a view as restricted as ours.  Pah.

5th min – Lots of shouting, swearing, and ball in the air.  Not much in the way of settling down.  Which sounds more like my stomach.

7.52pm – Kick Off!  Oh yes!


7.51pm – The minute’s silence for Brentwood stalwart Les Harris is respected superbly.

7.47pm – Nice of you to come out. sides.  Minute’s silence coming up soon, though, for the passing away of a club committee man.

7.40pm – Again, the press box has filled out.  Again, we got here first.  Again – chortle.  Even if about half of the Land of Leather End half is blocked from view.

7.35pm – Team News:  Brentwood Town line up with:

1. – Richard Wray

2. – Martyn Stokes

3. – Ted Llewellyn

4. – Greg Cohen

5. – Darren Blewitt

6. – Sam West

7. – Abs Thompson

8. – Daryl Robson

9. – Ross Wall

10. – Lewis Frost

11.  – Abs Seymour


12. – Ryan Doyle

14. – Neil Cousins

15. – Connor Witherspoon

16. – Sam Cross

17. – Sam Bantick

I would say something more about the team but my fingers are too cold to.  Ooh, it’s a cold ‘un.


7.30pm – A very busy night for our sides.  Billericay Town are in dire need of some points.  Second bottom of the Conference South, they have games in hand, but are five points adrift of safety, with an inferior goal difference.  They need to start winning quickly.

East Thurrock United are firmly embedded in mid-table security.  Their match away at Grosvenor Vale, way back in the summer, was a classic that we gave the live treatment to.  And seeing as its the Rocks, anything can happen.

Looking through the pro ranks, there’s an FA Cup replay, and Southend Unted face up to the ageing maestro Edgar Davids as they travel to Barnet.

North of the border, and unbelievable as it may seem, Ross County’s unlikely but emerging Champions League bid takes them to Aberdeen.  They are no strangers to unlikely European glory themselves either, when mighty Real Madrid succumbed to the Dons 30 years ago.

It’s gonna be one of those nights, you know.


7.25pm – A very good evening from a very chilly Arena.  Having been a-moving and a-grooving with the Drive show just an hour or so ago, it’s now time for a bit of football moonlighting.  Hurrah!

It’s been an ill wind blowing for Brentwood Town the past few days with the fixture backlog taking its toll.  Three tricky away matches in the space of four days, the most recent involving many hours of travel, have resulted in zero points and Town all but out of the play-off picture.  It sounds crazy but their season is just about over with 20 games left!

For tonight’s opponents, though, their season is very much alive.  Grays Athletic have enjoyed their switch to Rush Green, and it’s exemplified by their position in Ryman One North.  In second, and within touching distance of perennial leaders Maldon & Tiptree should they win their games in hand.

We know, however, that with Brentwood Town, expect the unexpected.  If they can’t go up, they may very well stop someone else from doing so.  This could be, yep, a cracker!

[audio:|titles=1 – Brentwood v Grays Preview]

You know the drill.  Keep refreshing the page every few minutes and all the fun of the football fair will be yours.


TwitCount Button

Testing Times – The Weekend Review

For news on the continuing struggles of almost all of our football sides, and a turnaround for some of our rugby teams, the weekend review is here.

[audio:|titles=Local Sports Weekend Review 23-24 Feb 2013]
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Things Can Only Get Better – The Weekend Preview

After an ego bruising week for our local sides, surely it has to improve this time around?  For news on where our sides are bidding to improve their fortunes, the weekend preview is here.

[audio:|titles=Local Sport Weekend Preview 24-25 Feb 2013]


And, since the full time summary from Roots Hall on Wednesday evening seems to have gone down rather well in some quarters, if you haven’t heard it, this is moments after Southend United reached Wembley, after beating Leyton Orient in the JPT semi-final.  It’s what others call ‘being in the moment’ …..

[audio:|titles=Southend Utd 2-2 Leyton Orient]


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One Step Forward, Seven Steps Back – The Weekend Review

For news on an exciting penalty shoot-out win on Sunday, and a grisly afternoon across the board on Saturday (it sounds such a cracker!), the weekend review is here.

[audio:|titles=Local Sports Weekend Review 16-17 Feb 2013]
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Making Their Points, Ready For The Cup – The Weekend Preview

For news on where the next installments of the relegation and promotion battles are, and what ladies are up for the cup, the weekend preview is here.

[audio:|titles=Weekend Local Sports Preview 16-17 Feb 2013]


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Down To The Wire – The Weekend Review

For news on some thrilling ladies cup football, and late deciders for the men in both round and oval balled games, the weekend review is here.

[audio:|titles=Local Sports Weekend Review 9-10 Feb 2013]



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Brentwood Town v Heybridge Swifts – LIVE

Brentwood Town  3-2  Heybridge Swifts

Maidenhead United  3-2  Billericay Town

Lowestoft Town  0-0  East Thurrock United

Accrington Stanley  1-1  Southend United

Dagenham & Redbridge  1-0  Cheltenham Town


FULL TIME:  And after such a dire first half, the second was a cracker.  Credit to Heybridge, they showed why they are so high in the table.  But Brentwood showed the guts and werewithal to hang in there.  This win is the mark of a play-off contender.

[audio:|titles=7 – Brentwood 3-2 Heybridge – Full Time Summary]

In the end, it’s been fun, so until the next time, enjoy your weekend, and your football.


Injury time:  And my battery’s almost run out.  Ulp,  Could still be another goal in this one as well.  Crumbs.

85th min – GOAL! ….. BRENTWOOD TOWN 3,  Heybridge Swifts 2  From another free kick, delivered perfectly by Ryan Doyle, SAM WEST heads home.

[audio:|titles=6 – Brentwood 3-2 Heybridge]

Oh yes!

84th min – From a Brentwood free kick on the right, Abs Thompson goes down under pressure inside the area.  Far too easily, though, and the ref rightly waves the appeals aside.

81st min – More injury time to be added, this time for Richard Wray, who took a knock when coming out to the edge of his area, saving a shot that the lino had given offside for in any case.

76th min – Haven’t missed too much other than Greg Cohen taking an air shot, hurting himself, and ripping his shorts.  Worthy of a double chortle, that.

70th min – GOAL! ….. BRENTWOOD TOWN 2,  Heybridge Swifts 2  A corner on the right is met by DARREN BLEWITT and he heads home from six yards.

[audio:|titles=5 – Brentwood 2-2 Heybridge]

Game on!

68th min – Brentwood try to draw level.  First of all, Abs Thompson dribbles inside the box, gets his centre in, and a goalbound Alex Read shot is blocked, then from another break, keeper Nicky Eyre saves bravely on the edge of the area from a Sam Bantick run and shot.  Much better now.

62nd min – GOALS! …..Brentwood Town 1,  HEYBRIDGE SWIFTS 2  And it’s SOLOMON OFORI who’s the hero of the hour, on the hour.  Two shots, two parries by Richard Wray, and two simple tap-ins.

[audio:|titles=4 – Brentwood 1-2 Heybridge]

Livened up no end now.  Hurrah!

58th min – Ooh, that was a close to an equaliser, Luke Callender’s free kick on in a central left position, 22 yards out, sneaking just past the near post.

57th min – Play has improved, it has to be said, but nothing clear cut.  The odd corner from Heybridge well defended, and the odd Brentwood breakaway stopped by a foul.

50th min – Swifts sub Reece Morgan, on for Taylor Hastings, tries a shot from about 25 yards, that hits the corrugated iron behind the sofa at the Doddinghurst Road End.  Hmmm.

4.04pm – Kick Off!  Please let it be better this time around.

In the meantime, Steve Butterworth, who picked up a knock in that foul just before the break, has been replaced by Sam Bantick.


HALF TIME:  And thank goodness for that.  There’s been so little incident and action I thought I was watching an England match.  Riveting is hardly the word, something that Joe has said in deep irony.  Things can only get better.  And at least Brentwood are ahead.

[audio:|titles=3 – Brentwood 1-0 Heybridge – Half Time Report]

Right, off for a Bovril and a Red Bull or 6.  Laters.

44th min – Wow, that really should have been 2-0.  A melee on the edge of the box, Abs Thompson tries a shot at goal, it’s blocked, but the ball goes to Abs Seymour.  With the goal open, though, he somehow shoots over from 15 yards.  Arrrrrrgggggghhhhh!

43th min – Ouch.  Baimass Lette Jallow clouts Steve Butterworth on the edge of the Swifts penalty area.  The ref decides against a yellow, though, as it would take him 20 minutes to write the name out.  The free kick comes to nothing.

40th min – Much better from Swifts there, though.  Malton got a couple of accurate crosses in, a couple of corners were forced, and Luke Callender had an on-target shot inside the area blocked.  In reply, Abs Thompson has a shot from 25 yards that sails over the far.  That’s a bit better, chappies.

37th min – The Heybridge Swifts supporters are getting annoyed at the right midfielder Russell Malton, who has developed an uncanny knack of falling over when putting a cross in that goes way over the dead ball line.  Brentwood, however, seem intent on conceding fouls when they have a corner, or letting it be easily defended.  Not the best of games as yet.

32nd min – Ooh, that was close to 2-0.  Nice little break down the right, a through ball puts in Steve Butterworth, and Swifts keeper Nicky Eyre does well to come out and block on the edge of the area.  But hurrah, a modicum of excitement.

27th min – Frankly, it’s been poor so far.  Passes going astray, complimented with hopeful punts in the air.  The only thing close to a shot, from Heybridge, almost made the A12.  Not quite the cracker we looked forward to thus far.

20th min – Oops.  A poorly directed backpass from Ryan Doyle almost lets in Heybridge’s Luke Callender.  He puts it past keeper Richard Wray on the left, but also well beyond the far post, and the Brentwood defence clear.  Bit of a let-off, that, though.

19th min – Abs Thompson is getting a bit of success down the right, and his trickery has forced a corner or two.  They’ve been easily dealt with, though, much to the frustration of the Brentwood dugout.  I can hear the swearys from here.  Ooh, deary me.

15th min – Big appeal from Swifts for a penalty, claiming Ryan Doyle had handled in the area, but the shout was more in hope than expectation, and the ref rightly waves play on.

13th min – I’m catching all the boring bits.  Play was held up for a bit to treat an injury, no harm done though, and play has resumed.  The ref seems to like the sound of his own whistle.  Which isn’t a euphemism.

7th min GOAL! ….. BRENTWOOD TOWN 1,  Heybridge Swifts 0  In time honoured tradition, I never saw STEVE BUTTERWORTH open the scoring, but Joe did.

[audio:|titles=2 – Brentwood 1-0 Heybridge]

Liquid football!

6th min – What can I say?  Nothing.  Russell Malton has made a couple of half decent runs for Heybridge on the right, but nothing created by either side so far.  Lots of shouty people and earnest urges of encouragement.  The crowd, though, looks up from Tuesday’s turnout, so good news already.

3.01pm – KICK OFF!  Oh yes!


2.57pm – The teams come out to an expectant and excited silence

2.55pm – Quite a crowd building up.  But only in and around the press box.  Just as well Joe and I got here early.  Getting the odd glare from others because we occupy the two seater press box.  Chortle.  The pitch itself is sandy in parts, looks like tractor tyre marks in the centre of it, but otherwise seems fine.  Someone here obviously likes Bon Jovi.  Ah well.  We have our crosses to bear.

2.50pm – Team News:  The Brentwood Town line-up is:

1. – Richard Wray

2. – Ryan Doyle (c)

3. – Sam Cross

4. – Greg Cohen

5. – Darren Blewitt

6. – Sam West

7. – Abs Thompson

8. – Gary Henty

9. – Alex Reade

10. – Steve Butterworth

11. – Abs Seymour


12. – Ross Wall

14. – Lewis Frost

15. – Martyn Stokes

16. – Sam Bantick

17. – Ted Llewellyn

So latest signing Gary Henty, from Tilbury, makes his debut.  Ex Rocks custodian Richard Wray also plays his first Saturday game for Brentwood.  It looks a pretty strong team to me.  But then what do I know, I think Ross County could be in Europe next season …..


2.45pm – Elsewhere, Billericay Town are in dire need of more points.  Four from their last two matches hasn’t stopped them sliding into the Conference South relegation zone.  Again, their style of play was called into question after their excellent point at Chelmsford the other night.  But when you’re fighting a relegation battle, it’s results first, performances a distant second.

East Thurrock United, on the other hand, are ticking over comfortably in mid-table.  They face a tough task on the Suffolk coast but Covo’s boys are just the sort to upset the odds.  And after today they have only a piffling 20 games left.

At least it means that when the warm spring weather arrives (or less cold, to be more precise), we’ll have plenty of evenings to while away at the football, after the barren start to 2013.  Hurrah!


2.40pm – Ooh, it’s been a long ol’ time, innit.  Far too long.  But, at last again, a  very good afternoon, today from a chilly Arena, as we take in the next thrilling instalment of Brentwood Town‘s play-off charge.

Even after today’s game, the hosts have another 23 games to fit into the next 11 weeks.  Over half a season in less than 3 months makes it a tall order to retain any sort of consistency.  But this Brentwood side are good.  Very good.

Today’s visitors, however are riding high.  Heybridge are second, eight places and 17 points above their opponents.  But Brentwood Town have an eye-popping eight games in hand on them.  It makes today a real six pointer.  Yet another cracker is in prospect.

[audio:|titles=1 – Brentwood v Heybridge Preview]

As ever, keep refreshing the page every few minutes, and the thrilling and the spilling of an afternoon at the football will be yours, all yours.

TwitCount Button

Points Or No Returns – The Weekend Preview

For news on where one relegation battle is being taken to, which ladies are up for the cup, and away days for our rugby sides, the weekend preview is here.

[audio:|titles=Local Sports Weekend Preview 9-10 Feb 2013]


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Goals, Goals, Goals, Points, Points, Points – The Weekend Review

For news of an extraordinary afternoon of ladies football, and how a vital rugby relegation battle went, the weekend review is here.

[audio:|titles=Local Sports Weekend Review 2-3 Feb 2013]
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Strong Winds But Stronger Hearts – Away With Old Brentwood’s

What seemed like for the umpteenth time, the local football at the weekend turned out to be anything but.  Billericay Town and East Thurrock United matches postponed, and Brentwood Town visiting a club that was inaccessible by public transport (unless you fancied a 6 mile hike after 2 trains and a bus!).

Determined to not have another blank weekend at Phoenix FM Sport Towers, though, a re-arranged local rugby fixture was found.  Old Brentwood’s, in a lowly 8th out of 11 in London 3 North East, were looking to ease any relegation fears at the expense of Canvey Island, just a place and three points behind them.

Coming from a family that’s been rugby union mad, with some playing at an extremely high level, I was not exactly an outsider looking in.  I know my inside five eighths from my outside.  I’m quite fly like that.

Arriving at Tewkes Creek, Canvey Island’s home, what hit me was that, in all those decades since I’d last been there, it hadn’t changed.  It was bitterly cold, with a chill wind blowing in from the estuary, and absolutely no protection from the elements.

Both sides, warming up, really had to shout at themselves to get motivated.  On a day this cold and windy, with the Six Nations on in a warm clubhouse, it was clear where they really wanted to be.  It was also wreaking havoc with trying to get any sort of preview recorded.  It was going to be a tough afternoon for everyone.

Within three minutes of the kick-off, though, Old Brentwood’s were ahead.  Nice quick ball from a scrum in their own half, a run down the back line, and in at the right hand corner.  The perfect start.  Perhaps this wasn’t going to be as attritional as I thought.

Canvey, to their credit, put paid to that notion.  Clearly, their strength lay with their pack.  The visitors could just about claim parity in the line-outs, but in other set-pieces, the home forwards ground and shunted their opponents across the pitch.  Old Brentwood’s were being driven clean off their own scrums, and a steady stream of penalties came Canvey’s way.

At half time, the home side had eased into a commanding 15-5 lead, all their points coming through those penalties.  The OldB’s had a real task on their hands.  If they continued conceding penalty after penalty, the ref would have no option but to start sin-binning them.  Despite scoring the only try, Old Brentwood’s looked set for defeat.

Looking set, however, is far from being set.  With the wind at their backs for the second half, visiting hearts grew stronger.  Forward play was not dwelt upon.  Quick ball to their increasingly dangerous back line was the key.  Within a quarter of an hour of the second half, it was all level at 15-15, with Old Brentwood’s getting the ball out wide and then switching play quickly.

All of a sudden, there only seemed one winner – and it wasn’t the hosts.  10 minutes later, the OldB’s full back makes a mazy run down the left.  He’s stopped just short of the line, but the ball is recycled quickly and there’s a try under the posts.  Improbably, the visitors now led 22-15.

Canvey were never going to go down without a hell of a fight though.  Their forwards got on top again, and after yet another penalty, which was converted, Old Brentwood’s were down to 14 men for ten minutes.  With their lead whittled down to four points, and a man short, the match again swung the home side’s way.

Old Brentwood’s response, however, was immediate.  Another surge up-field  and a penalty from around the Canvey 22 metre line.  Converted with ease.  25-18.  That, more than anything, you felt was the crucial moment of the game, where it was won and lost.

Canvey Island still battled until the end, their forwards making ground ferociously.  Instead of shouts of encouragement to themselves and from the hardy souls watching from the touchline, it was pleas to step things up.  Canvey believed they could still win – but no longer believed they would.

Old Brentwood’s hearts stood firm in the face of the incessant forward pressure.  You could see they believed.  They stayed disciplined, refusing to panic, doing the right thing at the right time.  They knew.  After a tremendous battle, it was their day.

Finally, the referee brought an end to what was an absorbing, and at times pulsating, contest.  Canvey Island will play worse and win, without a doubt.  But Old Brentwood’s, with their inventive back line, probably just about deserved to sneak the victory.

And how much did it cost to witness such an excellent sporting contest?  Not a single penny.  Everyone there playing, coaching, supporting, being there for the sheer love of the game.  I may have been frozen, as I at last managed a semblance of a report in the howling wind, but the cockles of my heart were well and truly warmed.

[audio:|titles=3 – FT Canvey Island 18-25 Old Brentwoods]

An overlooked sport, rugby union, but a great one.  Why not nip along one Saturday afternoon and support your local team?  If today is anything to go by, it’ll be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make.

Canvey Island 18,  Old Brentwoods 25

( Some more pics from today’s game can be found here … )


Other local rugby results:

Luton 29,  Brentwood 14

Wyondham 15,  Billericay 10


Local football result:

Soham Town Rangers 2,  Brentwood Town 2

TwitCount Button

Fingers Crossed – The Weekend Preview

You never know, there might just be some local sport this weekend.  Just in case there is (yeah, long shot, I know!) the preview is here.

[audio:|titles=Local Sports Weekend Preview 2-3 Feb 2013]
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Getting It On Again – The Weekend Preview

For news on where our teams (after a brief winter hibernation) are getting back into the swing of things, the weekend preview is here.

[audio:|titles=Local Weekend Sports Preview 26-27 Jan 2013]





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The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, And The Late (Again) – The Weekend Review

For news on a special day marred by controversy, and a vital away win in a relegation battle, the weekend review is here.

[audio:|titles=Local Sports Weekend Review 12-13 Jan 2013]


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Daggers Through The Heart Of Racism

As I’m sure you’re aware, Joe and I like to do something a little different every now and then.  Rugby League, SPL, and visits to Wembley have complemented the non-league season well.

Today was trip to our local League Two club, Dagenham & Redbridge, who were taking on Rochdale.  The match itself may not have seemed particularly special, but the occasion was.

“Daggers Against Racism” seeks to combat racism not only in football, but through the community, by encouraging people of all ages and ethnic backgrounds to come along and support their local side.

It’s done through vastly discounted ticket prices if purchased in advance.  Just a fiver secured us both a berth in the main enclosure.  It was worth it for the mascot alone!

Also there was the one and only Mike Jones, in his role as matchday announcer, and his plug for Phoenix FM was much appreciated.  It all added up to us looking forward to the day’s proceedings:

[audio:|titles=1 – Dagenham v Rochdale Preview]

And so the match started in, well not quite a carnival atmosphere, but a fairly decent one.  We weren’t expect anything other than a competitive, close game, with both sides mid-table in League Two.

The first 20 minutes or so bore that out:

[audio:|titles=2 – Dagenham v Rochdale Mid 1st Half]

It continued in that vein up until half time, unspectacular, but low on errors, with one or two great saves from the odd chance that was made.

[audio:|titles=3 – Dagenham v Rochdale Half Time]

The Daggerettes then did their half time dance routine, having been held up in traffic prior to the game.  Local singer Ryan Green also regaled the crowd with a song on two.  There was also a few dozen kids wandering around the pitch with their ‘Daggers Against Racism’ flags, met with applause by everyone.

The second half then began, and it seemed to be a carbon copy of the first 45 minutes.  A thought was going through my mind – ‘0-0 draw written all over it’.  As we approached the last 20 minutes, we didn’t hold out much hope of a goal.

[audio:|titles=4 – Dagenham v Rochdale Mid 2nd Half]

Of course, having thought that, Rochdale then go and score!  It was a good ‘un, too.

[audio:|titles=5 – Dagenham 0-1 Rochdale]

No sooner had that happened, though, than the Daggers responded!  Me being me, of course, I missed the goal completely, trying to send a match update via twitter at the time.  My trusty companion Joe saw it all, though.

[audio:|titles=6 – Dagenham 1-1 Rochdale]

With time ticking away, the teams began cancelling each other out.  To almost everyone in the 2,300 strong crowd, it seemed a draw was inevitable.  Bearing in mind the station’s reputation for being there when there’s last minute or injury time equalisers and winners, Joe and I were just as certain another goal would come.

Sure enough, as the 91st minute became the 92nd, there was yet another dramatic late twist!

[audio:|titles=7 – Dagenham 2-1 Rochdale]

And there it was, the prefect end to a perfect day for Dagenham & Redbridge.  As we wandered along the terraces and out towards Dagenham East station and home, this was how we saw things.

[audio:|titles=8 – Dagenham 2-1 Rochdale Full Time]

So there we had it, a day out at our local Football League club.  Dagenham & Redbridge may not be up there with their Premier League neighbours, they may not have any glamour, but they are a truly ‘local’ club, and have many things about them to be proud of.

Make no mistake about it, seeing all the smiling faces, all standing together to will their team onto victory, from such varied ethnic backgrounds, ‘Daggers Against Racism’ was a great success.

So much so that Joe and I can’t wait for the next time.  Well done Daggers!

Dagenham & Redbridge 2,  Rochdale 1




Footnote:  It has since come to light that Rochdale player Bobby Grant is currently the subject of a police investigation after an allegation of – of all things on a day like this – racist abuse from him towards Dagenham & Redbridge’s Gavin Hoyte.  Words fail me.


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It Could Do With Being A Bit Colder – The Weekend Preview

Bearing in mind the very slightly inclement weather we may be enduring this weekend, it’s probably best to check with the club concerned before venturing out to support your local team this weekend.

If they are playing, though, here’s where they are.

[audio:|titles=Weekend Local Sports Preview 12-13 Jan 2012]

No featured live game, either online or on Between The Lines, this weekend.  All the latest local and national sport will, however, be brought to you by the spiffing James Moloney between 4pm and 6pm on Saturday.

And do listen out for a special feature online about Dagenham & Redbridge’s anti-racism initiative over the weekend.  It’ll be a good ‘un!



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Romford v Brentwood Town – LIVE

Romford  3-4  Brentwood Town


FULL TIME:  My goodness me, it was worth the hassle of getting to Ship Lane by public transport, and then the frostbite, for a finish like that!  It looked for all the world as if Brentwood Town would leave with an undeserved defeat.  Somehow, though, they return to the Arena with very possibly an undeserved win.

Starting to look really good for Steve Witherspoon’s side.  The gap to the play-off zone is now just eight points, with a minimum of five games in hand on everyone above them.  And, of course, as tonight shows they are winning those games in hand at the moment.

[audio:|titles=10 – Romford 3-4 Brentwood FT Summary]

I’d better go and thaw out now.  No featured live game on Saturday, but the wonderful James Moloney will keep you fully up to date on Between The Lines from 4pm.  And there will also be a special little feature by the end of the weekend on Dagenham & Redbridge’s anti-racism initiative. Look out for that.

Until the next time, enjoy yourselves, and your football.  And breathe …..


94th minute ….. GOAL!  Romford 3,  BRENTWOOD TOWN 4  Even by our standards, this is something special!  From the Romford kick-off, Brentwood quickly get the ball back and the shell shocked hosts concede a free kick on the left about 25 yards out.  Cometh the 94 minutes, cometh the man.  ALEX READ bangs it home and his team-mates run around deliriously!

[audio:|titles=9 – Romford 3-4 Brentwood]

Wow.  Just wow!


92nd minute ….. GOAL!  Romford 3,  BRENTWOOD TOWN 3  And the Phoenix FM habit of dramatic late equalisers continues!  Another terrible defensive lapse, tripping over the ball, presents STEVE BUTTERWORTH with a free run at goal.  He hares into the area, and though his first efiort is blocked, he makes no mistake with the rebound.

[audio:|titles=8 – Romford 3-3 Brentwood]

A thoroughly deserved point

 Injury time:  And a shot from a corner on the right sails harmlessly wide of the far post.  Hmmmm.

88th min – Time ticking away, and nothing been created in the past five minutes.  Harumph.

83rd min – GOAL! ….. ROMFORD 3,  Brentwood Town 2  And disaster for RYAN DOYLE.  A speculative shot by Ben Jones is headed past his own net.

[audio:|titles=7 – Romford 3-2 Brentwood]

Undeserved.  But that’s football.


81st min – A Romford free kick from 30 yards clears the bar and heads off towards Hornchurch.  Chortle,

79th min – Blimey O’Reilly.  Another Ryan Doyle  free kick, wide on the left, misses everyone, but goes a foot wide of the far post, then Alex Read shoots wide from 10 yards when it seemed easier to score.  Meanwhile, Robbie Rees comes on for the very aptly named Lewis Frost.

75th min – And Abs Seymour follows him into the book, this time for a more obvious and clumsy tackle, near the centre circle.

70th min – Ryan Doyle unluckily gets a yellow card for a challenge near his own box, where he clearly got the ball and not the player.  I guess the ref is reacting the the crowd.  The free kick comes to nothing though.

66th min – Again, Brentwood Town have responded well to the goal.  Plenty of pressure and corners.  Alex Read has had a shot blocked and a header from Ryan Doyle a foot wide of the left hand post.   Cracking stuff.

60th min – GOAL! ….. ROMFORD 2,  Brentwood Town 2  Against the run of play.  Again.  A high cross from the right on  a rare host break.  It falls to JACK BOWERY at the left hand post, and from 8 yards he bangs it into the roof of the net.

[audio:|titles=6 – Romford 2-2 Brentwood]

Anyone’s game now.


58th min – Oh my, that should have been 3-1.  A defensive error means a kick out from the host keeper ends up at Steve Butterworth’s feet inside the area.  The shot comes in, but doesn’t have power, and is easily saved.

54th min – Nice work from Abs Thompson on the right earns a corner.  It gets played short to him, but his shot is badly mishit and misses the goal by about the width of my waist.  So a good 40 yards.

51st min – A surging Steve Butterworth run down the left gets him to the byeline inside the Romford box.  He pulls it back for Abs Seymour, his shot from about 8 yards is on target, but well saved.

49th min – A dangerous home free kick on the left, right by the Brentwood penalty area, is hoisted in.  Reece Ottley fumbles the catch, and there’s a desperate scramble, until the ref signifies a free kick for Brentwood.  Phew.  The locals are even unhappier now.

8.49pm – KICK OFF!  And a frozen one at that.


HALF TIME:  Apologies for the loss of connection here at Ship Lane.  Between that goal and half time, Romford managed to hit the bar with a venomous shot wide on the left from about 22 yards.   Been a decent game bearing in mind the frost on the pitch.

[audio:|titles=5 – Romford 1-2 Brentwood HT]

Anyway, I’m off for a Bovril and somewhere private to re-do my dongle.  Laters.


40th min – GOAL! ….. Romford 1,  BRENTWOOD TOWN 2  A real moment of controversy.  A free kick is given just inside the Romford half for the visitors for a seemingly innocuous challenge.  From that RYAN DOYLE’s free kick evades everyone and goes in.

[audio:|titles=4 – Romford 1-2 Brentwood]

The locals ain’t happy with that one!


36th min – The ball is in the back of the Romford net again, thanks to a sharp Alex Read strike from around six yards.  He wasn’t offside, but Abs Seymour, who supplied the centre on the left, was, so it’s chalked off.

34th min – Great pressure from Brentwood.  Alex Read has a run down the middle after intercepting a pass, lets in Abs Seymour, whose shot on the left, inside the area is parried.  It falls to Steve Butterworth on the right, and his power drive is superbly turned away at the near post.  A fine response from the visitors.

30th min – GOAL! ….. ROMFORD 1, Brentwood Town 1  One of those odd goals.  A cross from the left evades everyone, hits the far post, bounces off KURT SMITH, who knew little about it, and trundles in.

[audio:|titles=3 – Romford 1-1 Brentwood]

A goal worthy of a chortle.


28th min – A host shot from a similar distance goes onto the M25.

26th min – Apologies for lack of updates so far.  So cold, and so unconnected!  At the moment, Brentwood are in control, and have a free kick from 25 yards out after a foul on Alex Read.  Which is saved.

18th min – GOAL! ….. Romford 0,  BRENTWOOD TOWN 1  Oh yes!  A Romford goal kick is easily taken control of, a through ball to ALEX READ who beats the offside trap, and all alone inside the area, he coolly slots home with a low shot.

[audio:|titles=2 – Romford 0-1 Brentwood]

Liquid, albeit freezing, football!


17th min – Team News (belatedly).  Here’s the Brentwood Town team for tonight.  Oh, and by the way, the Titanic sunk, too.

1.  Reece Ottley

2.  Ryan Doyle

3.  Ted Llewellyn

4.  Connor Witherspoon

5.  Darren Blewitt

6.  Sam West

7.  Abs Thompson

8.  Lewis Frost

9.  Alex Read

10.  Steve Butterworth

11.  Abs Seymour

14th min – Still trying to set everything up and get a connection, but when I do look up, there’s a stinging shot just inside the Romford area on the right that the keeper parries, which Abs Seymour can’t quite get to.  Encouraging though.

8th min – You haven’t missed much.  Except for Romford fans berating the ref, claiming he’s missed two fouls on their forward.  As ever, it was six of one, half a dozen of the other, and the ref was right both times.

7.47pm – Kick Off!


7.46pm – Just got here!

7.40pm – For the uninitiated, Ship Lane is the home of Ryman Premier club Thurrock.  One big main stand, a covered enclosure opposite, with more seats, and a covered and open terrace at either end.  With a hotel and M25 overlooking it.

Romford, sadly, have been without a home in their own town for some time.  Aveley, Rush Green (where Grays Athletic currently ply their trade) and tonight’s venue is symptomatic of a good club, well worth keeping on the go, leading a sadly nomadic existence.

They’ve always been among the more vocal of supporters, too, and the people keeping the club going are stout fellows and fellowesses.  I hope they find somewhere back ‘home’ sooner rather than later.  But not as much as I hope Brentwood head back off to their home tonight with three points in their pockets.


7.35pm – A very good evening from a chilly Ship Lane for tonight’s intriguing bout of football intriguement.

On the face of it, this Ryman One North encounter doesn’t look particularly appealing.  14th v 13th, more than halfway through the season, on a cold Wednesday in January, isn’t quite the stuff of dreams.

Looks, however, are deceiving.  Both sides have games in hand on everyone above them, easily enough to force themselves into the play-off picture.  It has a real ‘cracker’ factor about it.

[audio:|titles=1 – Romford v Brentwood Preview]

As per usual, keep refreshing the page every few minutes, and all the fun and drama of a potential play-off battle will be yours.



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Bouncing Back – The Weekend Review

To find out about a record victory for the ladies, a vital win in the rugby, and an emerging play-off bid, the weekend review is here.

[audio:|titles=Local Sport Weekend Review 5-6 Jan 2013]


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Brentwood Town v Potters Bar Town – LIVE

Brentwood Town  3-1  Potters Bar Town

Billericay Town  v  Farnborough – POSTPONED

East Thurrock United  2-0  Enfield Town

Southend United  2-2  Brentford

Accrington Stanley  0-2  Dagenham & Redbridge


FULL TIME:  And what a cracking afternoon’s entertainment it’s been.  Potters Bar could easily have rolled over but they never let Brentwood relax for a second.  The hosts, to their credit, took their chances and weathered the Potters Bar storm.  Great stuff.

[audio:|titles=7 – Brentwood 3-1 Potters Bar Full Time Summary]

Until the next time, enjoy the weekend, and your football.


90+2 – A Brentwood break, and Alex Read is all on his own inside the Potters Bar half.  Their keeper races out, the ball is lobbed, but goes aganisingly wide.

Injury time:  240 seconds of it.  Play now more end-to-end.

88th min – More moans from the dug-outs.  This time about a player not being able to get back onto the field, which they claim was 3 minutes.  More like 45 seconds but hey, you can’t tell these chaps.  Brentwood at last ease pressure with a corner on the left, which they use to run down the clock.

85th min – Just as I say that …. The visitors beat the offside trap on the right, Ottley comes out to narrow the angle for the incoming shot and deflects it brilliantly for a corner.  From that, there’s a scramble, and a shot is cleared off the line.  Crikey.

81st min – Today’s attendance is 90.  Doesn’t sound much but it’s a 50% increase on the last home gate.  Excellent.  Meanwhile, Potters Bar are huffing, but not puffing any chances out.  There’s urgency but now lacking creativity.  Phew.

76th min – And there’s another, Lewis Frost replacing Daryl Robson.

74th min – Oops, should’ve said Sam Bantick has replaced Abs Seymour for Brentwood.  But I forgot.

71st min – Ah, the familiar sound of home supporters berating the ref or lino when things start to go against them.  Chortle.  Who can blame them?  The Potters Bar pressure continues, with the Brentwood back four being fully stretched to prevent shots from coming in.  Hanging onto their lead though.  At the moment.

66th min – GOAL! ….. Brentwood Town 3,  POTTERS BAR TOWN 1  Ooh, is a comeback on?  Another visitors break down the right, a low centre inside the area, and DANNY AILEY shoots into the roof of the net.

[audio:|titles=6 – Brentwood 3-1 Potters Bar]

So nope, it ain’t over at all.

63rd min – GOAL! ….. BRENTWOOD TOWN 3,  Potters Bar Town 0  Totally against the run of play, too.  A rare break, a trip inside the area, a penalty, and ALEX READ puts it away.

[audio:|titles=5 – Brentwood 3-0 Potters Bar]

Game over?

60th min – Have to say it’s all Potters Bar at the moment.  Finding success down the right and almost pulled a goal back when a lovely through ball to the onrushing striker ended in a shot on the edge of the Brentwood box that Ottley done well to parry away.  Next goal is absolutely crucial.

55th min – Seeing the lino jump up and down like a Mexican jelly bean reminds me of the cramp I’m getting in my thigh sitting on these plastic seats.  Ouch.  Meanwhile, too much Potters Bar pressure for my liking, a few corners being conceded, even if Ottley has only had one easy save to make in the last five minutes.

48th min – Reece Ottley has to go smartly down at his near post to stop a shot from the right just inside the area.  Bright start to this half from Potters Bar.

4.06pm – KICK OFF!  Blimey, they’re late.


HALF TIME:   And an immensely entertaining 45 minutes it’s been.  A good first five minutes, the next quarter of an hour they just cancelled each other out, then – boom! – two goals and Brentwood were well on top.  The missed Potters Bar penalty might have made their heads drop further, you’d have thought, but since then they’ve been the better team.  If they get one back it’ll be a cracker.

[audio:|titles=4 – Brentwood 2-0 Potters Bar – Half Time Summary]

Right, off for a Bovril and pair of gloves.  Laters.


44th min – Not an encouraging shout from the visitors full back to his centre half.  “Wes!  Kick it to anyone you can see!”  Chortle.

41st min – A bit more urgency from the Hertfordshire side, who are now gaining free kicks in menacing positions and corners.  Reece Ottley still not tested yet though.

36th min – POTTERS BAR MISS A PENALTY!  A foul on the very edge of the area.  Is it just outside or just in?  The ref, close by, blows for a penalty immediately.  To cheers and chortles all round, Danny Ailey”s penalty is not so much blazed over the bar but put into orbit.  Oh yes!

32nd min – Nice work again on the left from Ted Llewellyn and Abs Seymour on the left, there’s a low centre at pace into the six yard box, but somehow Alex Read puts it wide of the far post.  Cracking stuff from the hosts.

30th min – And Darren Blewitt almost makes it 3.  A piledriver on the edge of the box is deflected onto the bar with the keeper helpless.  All Brentwood now.

27th min – Been all Brentwood since those goals.  Potters Bar are understandably shocked, though I guess you wouldn’t have been shocked for me to miss a goal.  I’m just surprised I saw one of them.  Since then Abs Seymour has had another shot go just wide and pressure mount on the away goal.

22nd min – GOALS! ….. BRENTWOOD TOWN 2,  Potters Bar Town 0  Blimey!  A double salvo, first of all DARYL ROBSON shoots home from a pass on the left.

[audio:|titles=2 – Brentwood 1-0 Potters Bar]

Then ALEX READ doubles the lead as I try to write it up and report it.  I missed it completely!

[audio:|titles=3 – Brentwood 2-0 Potters Bar]

Still, who’s worried about that?  Liquid football and Brentwood are 2 up.  Oh yes!

19th min – A player is advised by a team-mate on the pitch to “‘Ave a look-in.”  Showing his age there, talking about a kids tv listings magazine from the 70’s.  I liked Catweazle best in it.

14th min – Ooh, that was close.  Abs Seymour ventures to the edge of the area in a central left position.  His shot is on target, low and hard, and the Potters Bar keeper can only parry the ball in front of him.  But there’s no Brentwood player there for the follow-up.  Bah.

13th min – Ooh, a corner on the left for the hosts after a shot was blocked.  Oh.  It’s low and goes straight to a visiting defender.  The bright first few minutes are beginning to give way to the normal hustle and bustle.  Though just then, a Potters Bar shot on the left from about 25 yards out whistled just round the far post.

8th min – As the visitors find some space down the left, which eventually comes to nothing, Blues boss Steve Witherspoon questions where his side’s marking was.  Only not quite as politely.  Chortle.  I hope the mums and das are covering the childrens ears from now on.

4th min – An open start by both sides, obviously pleased to be playing a game after all the postponements.  Ted Llewellyn has linked up well on the left with Abs Thompson.  Nothing clear-cut yet though.

3.01pm – KICK OFF!  And oops, I dropped my camera and stuff.


2.59pm – The teams come out to a quiet, apathetic reception, the loudest noise being created by cars going by the nearby A12.

2.55pm – I guess they’re renovating the stadium here.  No press box today as it’s occupied by a couple of large loudspeakers.  I can’t shift them.  Next to me are a couple of disgruntled Billericay Town supporters.  I agree it was very late to call off.  But still – chortle.

2.50pm – Team News:  Brentwood Town line up with:

1. – Reece Ottley

2. – Ryan Doyle

3. – Ted Llewellyn

4. – Connor Witherspoon

5. – Darren Blewitt

6. – Sam West

7. – Abs Thompson

8. – Daryl Robson

9. -Alex Red

10. – Steve Butterworth

11. – Abs Seymour


12. – Lewis Frost

14. – Sam Bantick

15. – Greg Cohen

16 – Martyn Stokes

17. – Robbie Rees

I’ve done well there, remembering all those players in order while they were read out, without the benefit of a team sheet.  Or maybe I read the twitter feed.

2.45pm – As far as our other sides are concerned, Billericay Town’s game was suddenly postponed at around 1.45pm.  They really needed the points after a couple of defeats too.  Two points from the relegation zone, the Conference South newcomers are getting to the stage where a run of decent form is a must.

It’s the same deal with the Rocks.  Difficult to beat, admittedly, but drawn far too many games, and three games from a Ryman Premier relegation place mean East Thurrock United have to start turning those narrow defeats into draws, and draws into wins.

It’s not looking much better for our local Football League sides either.  Dagenham & Redbridge have fallen away from the League Two play-off battle, needing a victory to halt an alarming slump in form.  At least Southend United have a bit of glamour, in the 3rd round of the FA Cup, but they too also need a win after a couple of disappointing league losses.

Wow, we’re not doing well between us all, are we?  It’s been gloomier than a lemming feeling a little bit down.  And they say my middle name is Happy …..


2.40pm – Good afternoon, peeps and peepesses, from a dry and surprisingly mild Arena, for today’s little footballing treat.

It’s a bit of a rarity, too, this season – a Brentwood Town league match.  Just 13 of them all season so far.  14th in Ryman 1 North doesn’t look great, but they have a mammoth amount of games in hand on everyone.

Today’s opponents are a case in point.  Potters Bar Town are 10 places and 14 points ahead of their hosts.  The Blues, however, have NINE games in hand on them.  A home win today would make ‘Wood a real play-off threat.  It’s going to be a chortle, if not an out-and-out cracker.

[audio:|titles=1 – Brentwood v Potters Bar Preview]

As ever, refresh this page every few minutes, and heaps and heaps of Saturday afternoon footballing fun will be yours, just yours, and only yours.


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Back To Business – The Weekend Preview

For news on where some teams are playing after a long break, and where others will be having plodded through the festive season, the weekend review is here.

[audio:|titles=Local Sports Weekend Preview 5-6 Jan 2013]
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Canvey Island v East Thurrock United – LIVE

Canvey Island  2-1  East Thurrock United

Billericay Town  0-1  Chelmsford City

Redbridge  v  Brentwood Town – POSTPONED

Northampton Town  3-1  Dagenham & Redbridge

Southend United  0-1  Gillingham


FULL TIME:  And it turned out to be a good game after all.  Just a disappointing result.  The Rocks shaded the first half but Canvey dominated the second and deserved the win.  East Thurrock United tried, but they were just up against a better team.  Ah well.

[audio:|titles=6 – Canvey 2-1 East Thurrock Full TIme Summary]

Next up, weather permitting, should be Brentwood Town at the Arena on Saturday,  Until then, Happy New Year.


Injury Time  And Chelmsford take the lead at Billericay.  Currently, Brentwood have done best out of all of our local league and non-league sides by virtue of not playing.  The man of the match announcement has been met with chortles.  Hurrah!

87th min – We’ve been asked for the Canvey man of the match here in the press box.  Although he’s been on for less than half an hour, Harrison Chatting is the man who’s made the difference in this game.

84th min – A Canvey free kick on the left hand edge of the area, a mix-up, but Ashley Dumas takes control of the hash of it, runs inside the left of the area, and shoots into the side netting.  Meanwhile, Meuga and Parmenter go off for Burgess and Mason for Covo’s boys.

83rd min – Elliott Justham keeps East Thurrock United in it with a brilliant point blank save from Canvey sub and ex Billericay man Harrison Chatting.  All Gulls at the moment.  Bah.

81st min – And the home side attack again, this time Louis Dennis playing a 1-2 and then shooting from the edge of the area, which is comfortably saved.

76th min – The Canvey fans are in much better voice as the Rocks have been on the back foot.  Another Gulls free-kick goes harmlessly over the bar, but it seems as if Canvey are now finding success down the flanks.  Time is ticking away for injury ravaged East Thurrock to rescue this.

71st min – GOAL! ….. CANVEY ISLAND 2,  East Thurrock United 1  A real New Year cracker of a goal, too.  A throw-in finds BRADLEY WOODS-GARNESS, almost at the byeline on the right hand edge of the area, and he somehow hammers it over himself and it hits the roof of the net at the far post.

[audio:|titles=5 – Canvey 2-1 East Thurrock]

Liquid football, it has to be said.

67th min – GOAL! ….. CANVEY ISLAND 1,  East Thurrock United 1  Nice Gulls move down the left, a low, swerving, venomously quick centre goes into the six yard box, SIMON PEDDIE has to try to deal with it, but only succeeds in levelling matters.

[audio:|titles=4 – Canvey 1-1 East Thurrock]

The last period of this game could be a good ‘un.

65th min – Speaking of darts, L’Heureux Meuga and Kevin Dobbinson tryto re-enact Sunday’s fun, with the Rocks forward putting the Gulls midfielder into a headlock, which he understandably reacted to.  It really should be at least a red for Meuga but the ref didn’t see it, and after consulting his linesman, tells them off like naughty schoolkids.

61st min – Not much going on elsewhere.  No reports of any excitement, let alone goals, at Billericay.  Dagenham are losing again though.  But at least it’s darts tonight.  The unrivalled spectacle of two old fat blokes trying to start a fight and failing miserably, on Sunday night, made my festive season.  Who needs Haye v Klitschko when you can have Taylor v Barneveld.  Chortle.

56th min – And ow, that was so close to a Gulls equaliser!  A ball over the top finds Bradley Woods-Garness bearing down on the East Thurrock United goal, completely unmarked.  He fires in a curling shot but it’s superbly parried away by Elliott Justham.  Phew.

54th min – Oh, so close for the Rocks!  A corner on the right, from Tom Stephen, yet another scramble in the six yard box, L’Heireux Meuga appears to have scored from point-blank range, but the ref whistles for an infringment on keeper Jones.  Drat.  And double drat.

51st min – And a nice little jink from Louis Dennis on the left gives him space and time to find Ashley Dumas inside the area.  The Rocks shepherd him away but at last signs of Canvey danger.  Crumbs.

49th min – And already the hosts have started livelier than at any point in the first half.  A volley that whistles over the bar and an easily defended corner doesn’t sound like much, but it’s about 100% more than the home side produced in the first 45 minutes.

4.04pm – KICK OFF!  Again, you know.


HALF TIME:  At long last, a goal, and suddenly it’s livened up.  After 35+ minutes of  nothingness, pots of fun right up the break.  The Rocks probably deserve the lead, having more chances, or at least forcing more corners.  The second half might just be a cracker.

[audio:|titles=3 – Canvey 0-1 East Thurrock Half Time Summary]

Right, off for a Bovril and a curry.  Laters.


Injury timne – And almost a Canvey equaliser.  Play switches downfield, there’s a throw-in on the right, which evades the Rocks defence.  James Hawes looks a certain scorer inside the box, just to the left of goal, but his shot flashes wide past the far post.  Blimey.

44th min – Wow, unbelievably close to the Rocks doubling their lead in the most bizarre way possible.  A terrible mistake on the edge of the Canvey penalty area sees the host goalie actually slice his kick behind him, almost presenting Meuga with an open goal.  Keeper Jones, however, races back towards goal, though, and hacks the ball clear to atone for his error.  My goodness me.

38th min – GOAL! ….. Canvey Island 0,  EAST THURROCK UNITED 1  Oh yes!  Kye Ruel finds space on the right, he centres it low into the edge of the six yard box, and SAM COLLINS slots home with a low shot.

[audio:|titles=2 – Canvey 0-1 East Thurrock]

Liquid football!

36th min – A few retired cockneys are evidently at the game.  East Thurrock players appeal for a free kick, to be met with a “Shaaaaaaaaaadup” from one spectator.  They had Chas & Dave on the PA before the game too.

31st min – Ooh, signs of life.  Kye Ruel on the left gets to the byeline inside the Canvey area, but his centre goes straight to a defender.  Reiss Gilbey intercepts on the edge of the box, though, and his shot is deflected for a corner.  Again there’s a moment of panic, but Jones in the end punches clear.

27th min – Should have done a mid 1st half audio report by now, but bar the moment of panic in the 2nd minute, there’s been nothing of note to chat about.  Although in the stand opposite, there’s an advert for a company that would be a great name for a bacon snack.  Oikos.

22nd min – L’Heureux Meuga is spoken to by the ref for a clumsy tackle on the halfway line.  The free kick comes to nothing.  My worry is, though, is how is it pronounced if he scores?

18th min – A half hearted attempt to get a ‘Come on Canvey’ chant going falls flat.  I think it’s more to do with New Year hangovers rather than lack of enthusiasm.  Plenty of effort from both sides but very little creativity thus far.

14th min – Nice little run and cross on the right by Louis Dennis, it goes out to the edge of the area.  There’s a Canvey appeal for a foul on Kevin Dobinson, but the ref waves the appeal away, and the attack ends with a header going harmlessly over Elliott Justham’s bar.

11th min – Both sides just settling down now.  A couple of home forays to the edge of the Rocks area, and a decent wide run or two from East Thurrock, but nothing clear-cut created.

6th min – Certainly in the minority in the press box.  The local paper scribe is an avowed Canvey fan.  Hmmm.  Elsewhere, Southend United have been beaten at home to League Two leaders Gillingham.  After their Boxing Day romp it hasn’t gone well for them.  Haven’t missed much here

2nd min – Ooh, almost a great start for the Rocks.  A corner is forced on the right, and I’m guessing the sun was in Canvey custodian Ashlee Jones’s eyes, as there was a bit of a flap in the six yard box.  There was panic for a second, and a crack at goal, but it’s eventually cleared.

3.01pm – KICK OFF!  Oh yes!


2.58pm – The teams come out to a quiet, hungover reception.  Although Covo’s better half Chris knocked on the glass cheerily and wished me a Happy New Year.  Very nice.  Ooh, I feel chuffed already.

2.55pm – The teams are in the tunnel, the Rocks in their black and white striped away kit, Canvey in yellow shirts and blue shorts.

2.50pm – The Gulls media / pa man Glen is having problems today with the music system and mic.  My offer of a lend of the ‘Hearts, Hearts, Glorious Hearts’ cd as the teams come out has for some reason been turned down.  Harumph.

2.45pm – A lovely day here at Park Lane.  Bright sunshine with the old cloud.  Not a drop of wind.  Perfect football conditions.  Though with Covo’s visit to the curry house last night, he may spend more time in the clubhouse wc’s that in the dugout.  Why do unfortunate things happen to good people.  I’m not sure why.  But chortle.

2.40pm – Team News:  Canvey Island bid to beat the Rocks with:  1. – Ashlee Jones.  2. – Ashley Miller.  3. – Ashley Dumas.  4. – Rob King (c).  5. – Ricky Hayles.  6. – Richard Orlu.  7. – Nicolas Bondon.  8. – Kevin Dobinson.  9. – Bradley Woods-Garness.  10. – Louis Dennis.  11. – James Hawes.  SUBS:  12. – Harrison Chatting.  14. – Robbie Blackwell.  15. – Mitch Gilbey.  16. – Danny Heale.  21. – Tommy Glanville.

So the Gilbey brothers come face to face at long last.  I still remember their other brother Lennox in Only Fools & Horses at that supermarket.


2.35pm – Team News:  East Thurrock United will try to gub the Gulls with:

1. – Elliott Justham

2. – Ryan Sammons

3. – Tom Stephen

4. – Simon Peddie

5. – David Obaze

6. – Ross Parmenter

7. – James Lawson

8. – Reiss Gilbey (c)

9. – L’Heureux Meuga

10. – Kye Ruel

11. – Sam Collins


12. – Liam Burgess

14. – Dean Mason

15 – Matt Pouley

16. – Spencer Harrison

17. – Joe Keith

An interesting mix of seasoned pro’s and new signings.  Just what you need on a day like today.


2.30pm – Elsewhere, Billericay Town, after their desperately dour and disappointing loss at Hornchurch over the weekend, need a win against a strong Chelmsford City outfit to harbour any hopes of a play-off bid.

At first glance you’d say Brentwood Town’s play-off chances in Ryman One North are remote.  In 13th and 11 points from that coveted top five slot.  With today’s postponement, though, they will have at least 4, and up to 9 games in hand, on every team in the division.  Despite today’s no-show, they have a real shot at it.

Apologies for today’s live coverage not coming from either game.  It’s a combination of accessibility to matches, and more pertinently, being almost broke.  It’s taken an extremely cheap train fare, and then a four mile trudge, to just get me here, let alone further afield.

The things I do to bring you such jolly japes.  Oh, and no New Year’s Eve party either.  Simply couldn’t afford to go out or taxi fares.  I’m the Oliver Twist of the non-league scene, you know.


2.25pm – A very good afternoon from Park Lane, the home of Steve Tilson’s Gulls of Canvey Island, where East Thurrock United face a tricky task to get 2013 off to a positive start.

It’s been a season of swimming in treacle for Covo’s side so far.  The early season run of six straight wins and that unforgettable FA Cup battle with Chelmsford City seems such a long time ago.  It’s been a case of digging out decent results away but inconsistency at home.  Whilst in no relegation danger, a climb up the Ryman Premier table seems a tough one.

As for the hosts, they will be smarting from an embarrassing Boxing Day derby defeat at Concord Rangers and determined to get their play-off bid back on track.  With the Rocks away form holding up, however, hopes are there that the Rookery Hill outfit can spring more festive humbug upon the hosts.  This could be a cracker.

[audio:|titles=1 – Canvey v East Thurrock Preview]

You know what to do.  Refresh the page every few minutes and all the fun of the New Year’s Day football fair will be yours.



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Out With The Old, In With The New – The Local Review & Preview

With a brief synopsis on a disappointing weekend, but a look forward to a positive start to 2013, the local review and preview is here.

[audio:|titles=Local Sports Review and Preview]
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Bring Your Brolly – The Weekend Preview

To find out where your local teams are playing this weekend, another festive preview is here, and all yours.

[audio:|titles=Local Sports Weekend Preview 29-30 Dec 2012]
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Shrimpers Put Daggers To The Sword

With all of our local non league teams being given Boxing Day off, thanks to waterlogged pitches, the choices of festive football was severely limited.

Limited but not impossible to find.  Our two local Football League sides, Dagenham & Redbridge and Southend United, faced each other in a Boxing Day lunchtime League Two clash at Victoria Road.

A close game was anticipated but it was anything but that – much to the delight of one set of supporters surrounding me at full time!

Here’s my take on the game:

[audio:|titles=Dagenham 0-3 Southend]




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Mince Pies, Turkey Sarnies, and Football – The Boxing Day Preview

As we all know, the sport at the weekend was a wipeout (well, almost – more later), but weather permitting, Boxing Day means a wonderful chance to get away from turkey sandwiches and the house for an afternoon of football.  Here’s where and when our sides are playing.

[audio:|titles=Local Sports Boxing Day Preview]

As mentioned earlier, the weekend sport was almost entirely wiped out, but not completely!  And, of course, we simply had to be there.  Saturday was spent the other side of the water, as Maidstone United stretched their unbeaten run in Ryman One South.

On Friday night, too, whilst Southend United stepped up their League Two promotion bid with a 3-0 win over Chesterfield, Joe and I settled for the Underdogs of Underhill.  Propping up League Two, Barnet, with Dutch superstar Edgar Davids in the line-up, took on Burton Albion.  Here was our take on a memorable evening.

[audio:|titles=Barnet 3-2 Burton Albion]

So, never fear, if there’s a match, Phoenix FM will find it!

There will be a full summary of the Boxing Day results that evening, including a report from Dagenham & Redbridge, weather permitting of course.  Until then, thank you so much for tuning in and logging on, and all of you have yourselves a very Merry Christmas.




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‘Tis The Season To Be Picking Up A Few Points – The Weekend Preview

If you fancy getting out of the last minute Christmas shopping rush by taking in a game, or you simply want to know who’s playing where, the weekend preview is all yours.

[audio:|titles=Local Sports Weekend Preview 22-23 Dec 2012]
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Ups And Downs – The Weekend Review

For news on an exciting end to a local derby cup tie, and fraying tempers elsewhere, the weekend review is here.

[audio:|titles=Weekend Local Sports Review 15-16 Dec 2012]


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East Thurrock United v Lowestoft Town – LIVE

East Thurrock United  0-2 Lowestoft Town

Heybridge Swifts  1-3  Brentwood Town

Southend United  2-2  Bradford City

Dagenham & Redbridge  1-0  Barnet

Eastleigh  P-P  Billericay Town


FULL TIME:  Apologies for the breakdown late on.  Just been one of those days for the Rocks as well as this netbook.  An undeserved defeat for the hosts but sometimes the rub of the green goes against you.

[audio:|titles=8 – East Thurrock 0-2 Lowestoft Full Time Summary]

Until the next time, enjoy your weekend, and your football.


85th min – GOAL! ….. East Thurrock United 0,  LOWESTOFT TOWN 2  Apologies for the breakdown in connections, which is still oh so slow.  I didn’t see the goal.  Either Erkan Okay or Jack Defty got the final touch apparently.

[audio:|titles=7 – East Thurrock 0-2 Lowestoft]

Just as well Joe did!

76th min – Oh, so close!  A corner on the right, and Ben Wood powers a header in.  It looks a certain equaliser but is superbly cleared off the line.  Ironic as the corner came from an awful clearance in the first place, missing the right hand post by milimetres.

72nd min – All action.  Hakeem Araba’s header from the free kick given in that audio report goes a foot wide of the far post.  Lowestoft break and Elliott Justham does well to hold onto a high volley.  From that, play switches to the other goal, and the Rocks Sam Collins shot goes an inch wide.  Cracking stuff.

67th min – Another promising run from Ross Parmenter results in a free kick 25 yards from goal.  That results in the ball going well wide.

[audio:|titles=6 – East Thurrock 0-1 Lowestoft Mid 2nd]

Time starts to tick away

63rd min – Beautiful piece of skill from Hakeem Araba, just inside the Lowestoft half, he turns and sends a through ball perfectly to Sam Collins in one swift movement.  He looks a certain scorer, but stumbles on the edge of the area, about to pull the trigger.  So close there.

60th min – I’m enjoying this ref.  He’s giving random decisions that are antagonising supporters of both sides.  Chortle.  Nothing too much going on, fairly attritional now.  Good to see Brentwood doubling their lead though.  Hurrah.

55th min – Hakeem Araba is given a warning of admonition by the ref for being upset at a decision not going his way earlier.  He was clearly tripped off the ball, but both the ref and lino were ball watching and missed it completely.  The away fans are clamouring for a yellow for diving.  Chortle.

50th min – The Rocks continue to press, and after a scramble on the edge of the area, Sam Collins’ goalbound shot is tipped round the right hand post at the Bus Stops End by Andy Plummer.  The corner is easily defended but a great start to this half by the hosts.

47th min – Within 20 seconds of the restart, there’s a yellow card for the Trawlermen’s Kelly and a free kick on the left for a mistimed tackle on Ross Parmenter.  The free kick is the worst one ever but from the clearance, which isn’t good, Hakeem Araba half volleys a shot about 3 inches over the bar.

4.03pm – Kick Off!  And James Lawson comes on for Kurt Smith.


HALF TIME:  And after we said nothing was happening, it exploded into life.  Two straight reds, both the right decision.  One outside the penalty, one inside.  It’s that penalty which is the only real difference.  A poor game to watch so it’s just as well something has happened to liven proceedings.

[audio:|titles=5 – East Thurrock 0-1 Lowestoft Half Time Summary]

Right time for a Bovril and a discussion on the difference between the chest and nether regions.  Laters.


43rd min – A curling Kye Ruel shot, just inside the left hand edge of the area, goes a foot over the far post.

41st min – The brand new floodlights come on, and play seems to be descending to players concentration being broken by the crowd all moaning for one reason or another.  A dreadful long ball from The Trawlerman, straight onto Simon Peddie’s head, is lauded as a “great ball.”  Chortle.

36th min – GOAL AND RED CARD ….. East Thurrock United 0,  LOWESTOFT TOWN 1  And Kris Newby is the man to go, elbowing the incoming forward over the goal line.  Again, the referee had no option and the penalty by DALE COCKRILL is duly despatched.

[audio:|titles=4 – East Thurrock 0-1 Lowestoft]

Game on now!

35th min – Just to clear it up, despite my always accurate audio reports, it was indeed Michael Frew that went for an early bath, just as I wrote rather than said.  As happens normally when a player is dismissed, it’s all Lowestoft now they’re a man down.

29th min – RED CARD FOR LOWESTOFT TOWN  And the guy causing some of  the danger, Michael Frew is the man to go.

[audio:|titles=3 – Red Card]

Despite the protestations from away fans, absolutely the right decision.

25th min – It’s odd how the Lowestoft contingent didn’t see that shove on Tom Stephen a few minutes ago, but when the Rocks tussle equally competitively and get the better of things in midfield, they whinge and shout at the ref.  He’s apparently lost the plot.  Yeah, rightio.

[audio:|titles=2 – East Thurrock 0-0 Lowestoft Mid 1st Half]

Not a great game so far.

19th min – Lowestoft come mighty close.  Michael Frew tussles with Tom Stephen on the left hand edge of the Rocks area.  Tom falls and leaves Frew with a free shot at goal but Justham gets down and saves well at the near post.  Phew.

15th min – Nice cross-field pass from the left by Sam Collins finds Kris Newby wide near the bye-line but he’s shepherded away well.  Meanwhile I take great delight in informing the guy in front of me that Caley Thistle are already losing 3-0.  Chortle.

12th min – And now there’s real danger from Lowestoft.  A long through ball finds Michael Frew free on the edge of the area.  But his shot is more like a back-pass and Elliott Justham collects easily.

10th min – First signs of life from the opposition, a cross field pass from right to left.  But the centre from that is easily defended.  Nothing much to write home about so far.  Except the bloke in front of me is wearing an Inverness Caley jacket.  That’s just not on.

4th min – Tom Stephen takes a volley to the mid-riff and is momentarily winded.  “Don’t rub ’em, count ’em” shouts one away fan, obviously not knowing where is chest his from his private parts.  Which must be a problem when he needs the loo.

1st min – Ooh, early Rocks pressure finds Hakeem Araba in the penalty area on the left.  But he falls over and the ball’s cleared.  Bah.

3.00pm – Kick Off!  Oh yes.


2.58pm – The teams come out to an unusually enthusiastic response.  Probably happy they’re not at the shops.

2.55pm – Team News:  East Thurrock United go with:-

1.  Elliott Justham

2.  Ryan Sammons

3.  Tom Stephen

4.  Simon Peddie

5.  Ben Wood

6.  Sam Collins

7.  Kris Newby

8.  Ross Parmenter

9.  Hakeem Araba

10.  Kurt Smith

11.  Kye Ruel


12 – Liam Burgess

14 – Dean Mason

15 – Matt Pooley

16 – Someone Obaze

17 – James Lawson

Reiss Gilbey suspended after five yellows, Sam Higgins out with a hamstring injury, and Ben Wood back for a title winners reunion.

2.50pm – A very good afternoon from a sunny and welcoming Rookery Hill.  With Billericay Town’s game called off this morning, and Brentwood Town’s match being inaccessible by public transport (not being able to drive on medical grounds is a real pain at times), East Thurrock United have kindly let us be the cuckoos in their Rookery Hill nest again.

Today’s little treat promises to be a contrast in styles.  The Trawlermen are renowned for a somewhat direct style of play.  It’s nonetheless effective as they are permanently in the play-off mix, only beaten to promotion by a very strong AFC Hornchurch last season.

The Rocks, well schooled by retired teacher John Coventry, play a much more eye pleasing game.  Results are less positive, mind, but still it can be argued persuasively that the Corringham outfit continually punch above their weight for the size of club.  Mid table in the Ryman Premier and FA Cup runs are no mean feat.  This could be a good ‘un.

[audio:|titles=1 – East Thurrock v Lowestoft Preview]

You know the drill, chaps and chapesses.  Simply refresh the page every few minutes, and the irreverent meanderings, and the sounds, of An Idiot In Essex at the football will be yours, all yours.


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Better Late Than Never – The Weekend Preview

Apologies for the late edition this week, all down to time constraints, during this festive rush.

Anyhow, here’s where your local teams are this weekend.

[audio:|titles=Local Sports Weekend Preview 15-16 Dec 2012]

Of course, the deliberate mistake is that on Sunday, it’s the battle of the compass – East Thurrock v West Billericay – and not Hutton.  Not even they could play two matches at the same time!

Ever had one of those days?


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Going Goal Crackers – The Weekend Review

For the low down on an incredible afternoon at the Arena, and to find out how a tight local derby tussle turned out, the weekend review is here.

[audio:|titles=Local Sport Weekend Review 8-9 Dec 2012]


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Brentwood Town v Soham Town Rangers – LIVE

Brentwood Town 6-3  Soaham Town Rangers

Billericay Town 2-0  Bath City

Harrow Borough  2-3  East Thurrock United

Bristol Rovers  0-1  Dagenham & Redbridge

Fleetwood Town  0-0  Southend United


FULL TIME:  And what an incredible afternoon it’s been at the Arena.  We may have broke our draw duck, but nine goals, near misses, shouting, swearing, and the smell of stew.  A fabulous 90 minutes.  It sets up Brentwood Town’s Essex Cup confrontation nicely.  Been a good day for our sides elsewhere too.  Much better than Christmas shopping this.

[audio:|titles=13 – Brentwood 6-3 Soham – Full Time]

Until the next time, enjoy the weekend, and your football.


Injury Time:  I think the hosts are safe.  Just.  Though Soham are throwing the frozen kitchen sink at them.

85th min – GOAL! ….. Brentwood Town 6,  SOHAM TOWN RANGERS 3  A scramble inside the six yard box after a Jonathan Miles fumble, and ROBBIE MASON completes the second hat-trick of the afternoon.

[audio:|titles=12 – Brentwood 6-3 Soham]

What a game!

80th min – GOAL! ….. BRENTWOOD TOWN 6,  Soham Town Rangers 2  A break, a trip, a free kick, a moan, a consultation with the lino, a penalty, another ALEX READ goal.

[audio:|titles=11 – Brentwood 6-2 Soham]

It’s just that simple.


78th min – Abs Thompson replaces Steve Butterworth.  His first action, apart from putting his hands down his shorts, is to help the defence out as Soham Town Rangers earn a number of corners.  They are all cleared relatively comfortably though.

75th min – Great early run from Steve Butterworth on the right, finding space from a free kick.  He cuts inside the area and shoots, but it’s comfortably blocked.

73rd min – And Robbie tries to make an immediate impact with a dipping shot from around 30 yards.  Which dips just over the bar of the goals on the training pitch.

69th min – Wood take off Lewis Frost  – a very apt name in these conditions now – and bring on Robbie Rees.

67th min – Even closer.  A free kick comes in from the right touchline, about 30 yards out, and Joe Asensi’s header from six yards misses the crossbar by about a milimetre.

64th min – Perilously close to the visitors closing the gap further.  Great run down the right, a high centre into the area, and Luke Stanley volleys just over from about 10 yards.

57th min – GOAL! ….. Brentwood Town 5,  SOHAM TOWN RANGERS 2  Well, no.  Home defence asleep again, ROBBIE MASON left on his own inside the area, and his low shot reduces the deficit.

[audio:|titles=10 – Brentwood 5-2 Soham]

Surely not?


54th min – GOAL! ….. BRENTWOOD TOWN 5,  Soham Town Rangers 1  From the goal kick, the ball is played to DARYL ROBSON on the edge of the area.  He learnt his lesson from a minute ago.  Not much power, but low, accurate and in.

[audio:|titles=9 – Brentwood 5-1 Soham]

Game safe?


53rd min – A Daryl Robson first time shot from just outside the area ends up just outside Shenfield.

50th min – A stinging Luke Stanley shot is excellently pasrried away by Jonathan Miles for a Soham corner, which is easily cleared.  An understandably urgent start to the second half from the visitors.

4.02pm – KICK OFF!  What on earth will happen next?


HALF TIME:  And yet another magical 45 minutes comes to a close.  I do pick ’em.  It looked ominous at the start, grave after 25 minutes, but somehow Brentwood Town have stormed it in the clear blue skies.  What a game.

[audio:|titles=8 – Brentwood 4-1 Soham – Half Time]

Right, off for a Bovril and a lie-down.  Laters.


45th min – GOAL! ….. BRENTWOOD TOWN 4,  Soham Town Rangers 1  As Alex has the matchball safely in his pocket, he turns provider.  Low pass inside the area, and ABS THOMPSON ‘s shot from about eight yards puts Brentwood in dreamland.

[audio:|titles=7 – Brentwood 4-1 Soham]

Oh yes!


42nd min – You can tell a game’s a cracker when I spend all my time trying to keep the updating updates up to date – and filing.  So, so much action the past 20 minutes.  The visitors look a bit shell shocked.  No wonder.

38th min – GOAL! ….. BRENTWOOD TOWN 3,  Soham Town Rangers 1  This is getting stupid.  More pass and move down the right, a centre from the byeline and ALEX READ is incredibly on his own inside the six yard box.  He controls and completes his hat trick and still has time to light a cigarette.

[audio:|titles=6 – Brentwood 3-1 Soham]

Marevllous fun.


32nd min – GOAL! ….. BRENTWOOD TOWN 2,  Soham Town Rangers 1  Blimey.  Great pass and movement down the right, a through ball to ALEX READ, the keeper comes out to narrow the angle, but Alex cleverly shoots over him and into the left hand corner of the corner.

[audio:|titles=5 – Brentwood 2-1 Soham]

Cracking stuff!


28th min – GOAL! ….. BRENTWOOD TOWN 1,  Soham Town Rangers 1  How about that for a response?  Daryl Robson runs at the defence on the left, a lovely through ball to ALEX READ, and his low shot goes into the right hand corner of the net.

[audio:|titles=4 – Brentwood 1-1 Soham]

Liquid football!


25th min – GOAL! ….. Brentwood Town 0, SOHAM TOWN RANGERS 1  Brentwood just wouldn’t learn from their earlier mistakes.  Asleep again as a pass from the left found ROBBIE MASON totally unmarked, inside the area on the right.  He made no mistake this time.

[audio:|titles=3 – Brentwood 0-1 Soham]



22nd min – It’s cold but the action on the pitch is hot.  Ooooh errr indeed.

[audio:|titles=2 – Brentwood v Soham Mid 1st Half]

A cracker so far.


20th min – Alex Read comes even closer, this time a piledriver from a similar distance on the left, which was turned around the near post superbly.  The subsequent corner is easily cleared.

18th min – Soham custodian Dan Bircham atones for his earlier error with a fine save from a low 20 yard Alex Read shot, from a central right position.  It looked in all the way, but he got a hand to it and was then booted clear.

16th min – Getting very nippy here now.  Thank goodness I managed to buy some jeans this week. George at Asda, fiver, can’t go wrong.  Back in the land of football, lots of shouting and endeavour but no creating or shooting.

12th min – A moment of controversy.  Brentwood thought that had taken the lead.  Steve Butterworth shoots from inside the area after a long ball down the left, the visiting keeper fumbles it, and Daryl Robson bundles home the rebound.  The lino, though, had his flag up before the shot went in, and it’s chalked off.  More incandescence from the home dugout.  I shouldn’t.  But chortle.

7th min – Oops.  The home defence went to sleep, and a cross field pass found Soham’s James McCabe completely unmarked on the right, about 10 yards from the byeline.  His centre’s a good one but Robbie Mason heads over.  Sweary words emanate from the home dugout.

6th min – Why is there a smell of stew?  The hosts are now settling down after the early scare.  Nothing created by either side since then.

2nd min – Already a major let off for ‘Wood.  Jonathan Miles kick from goal goes straight to Soham’s Luke Stanley, unmarked and just 20 yards out.  He redeems himself, however, with a superb parry away from the free shot.  Phew.

3.01pm – Kick Off!  Oh yes!


2.58pm – The teams come out to Plan B and a bit of indifference, Brentwood in their light blue shirts and socks with white shirts, and Soham in green and white stripes, green shorts and socks.  Provided by Primark and George At Asda.

2.55pm – The crowd is on the small side.  Sort of enough space on a park bench size.  But the club staff are friendly and as enthusiastic as ever.  It’s a pity the locals can’t pop down to visit a bit more often.  Much better than trolley bashing and Christmas shopping.

2.50pm – Team News  Brentwood Town go with:

1 – Jonathan Miles

2 – Ryan Doyle (c)

3 – Ted Llewellyn

4 – Connor Witherspoon

5 – Darren Blewitt

6 – Sam West

7 – Steve Butterworth

8 – Daryl Robson

9 – Alex Read

10 – Lewis Frost

11 – Abs Seymour


12 – Sam Bantick

14 – Greg Cohen

15 – Martyn Stokes

16 – Robbie Rees

17 – Abs Thompson

Plenty of players who know their stuff there.


2.45pm – In the other games, East Thurrock have drawn their last three league matches, and eight out of 14 in the season.  They need to start winning sooner rather than later.

Something that Billericay Town also need to start doing again today.  Bit of a rollercoaster season so far for the New Lodge side.  A run of wins followed by a run of defeats.  It’d be nice to just win consistently.  But how boring would that be?

Tough away trips for our League Two sides, but they’re both in such decent form they should hold no fears.  I once went past a launderette with internet access in Bristol, you know.  I guess all the dirty websites you got onto in there were soon washed away.


2.40pm – As you may have realised, I have a bit of a track record for dramatic late equalisers and goals the past couple of months.  In the last eight games, seven have featured last minute or injury time equalisers.  12 goals have been scored in the last five minutes in those games too.

The other game of those eight was comparatively boring.  Just a team coming back from 2-0 down to draw level in the last quarter of an hour.  Pah.

If Brentwood are a goal up after 85 minutes, I’m going home, and win the three points for them.  If they’re getting beat, I’ll just wave to the away team’s dug-out, letting them know the fate that awaits them.  Chortle.


2.35pm – Good afternoon from a very chilly Arena for this afternoon’s Ryman One North clash.  And, after all these postponements in recent weeks, we’re due a good ‘un.

This shows promise too.  Looks can be deceptive you know.  Brentwood Town seem as if they’re having a bit of a languish, down in 17th.  Due to cup commitments and postponements, however, they have plenty of scope for climbing up the table.

Their opponents were understandably the pre-season favourites after a lot of summer investment and a few names being brought in.  Soham Town Rangers have  only just recovered, though, from a disastrous start, and are still four points adrift off the play-off zone.

It could get worse though for them too.  Brentwood may be eight points behind their visitors, but have a massive six games in hand.  As unlikely as it seems, this could be the springboard of a promotion bid for the hosts if things go their way.  This match may well be an early Christmas cracker.

[audio:|titles=1 – Brentwood v Soham Preview]

As ever, simply refresh the page every few minutes, and instead of freezing your bits off at the shops, you’ll feel a warm glow from all the top notch footballing action coming your way.



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Hotting Up As It Gets Colder – The Weekend Preview

For news of where your local teams are, and a big day in store for some of the ladies, the weekend preview is here.

[audio:|titles=Weekend Local Sport Preview 8-9 Dec 2012]
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Bakers Dozen Lodged – The Weekend Review

For details on a stunning win on Sunday, and a fine victory on Saturday, the weekend review is here

[audio:|titles=Local Sports Weekend Review 1-2 Dec 2012]
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Saturday Afternoon Football – LIVE (sort of …)

Brentwood Town P-P  Wroxham

Billericay Town 1-2  Dover Athletic

Lewes  1-1  East Thurrock United

Bury  1-1  Southend United

Torquay United  2-1  Dagenham & Redbridge

Southend Manor  2-2  Basildon United


FULL TIME:  And a fitting tribute to the late, great Mitchell Cole it was, as one of his last clubs stage a stirring fightback, keeping in tune with the normal Phoenix FM match coverage.  One way or another, it’s been a fun afternoon.

[audio:|titles=5 – Full Time]

Until the next time, enjoy the weekend, and your football.


90th min – Billericay Town halve the deficit.  Could they ….. ?

88th min – Unbelievable.  Yet another late equaliser.  A stunning shot.  Basildon United have shown nothing yet somehow drawn level.  I’m afraid my mask of impartiality was taken off and instead a mask of “Yes!  Get in there!” was put on instead.  Chortle.

85th min – Looks like game over, though, at New Lodge, as Dover double their lead.

84th min – Game on here.  A free kick, a header from the sub at the far post, and Basildon are back in it.  An interesting last few minutes here awaits us.

82nd min – Yes!  Kris Newby drags the Rocks level at the Dripping Pan.  Which sounds almost illegal, but means East Thurrock United have equalised.  Daggers joy at Torquay, however, is short lived.  Boo.

80th min – Getting news of a serious injury to a Billericay Town player at New Lodge, unconfirmed reports saying it’s Glen Poole.  A stretcher and neck brace have been called for.  Fingers crossed it’s just precautionary.

77th min – Miss of the season here.  Southend Manor press again, the centre forward is completely clear inside the area, with just the goal in front of him.  He sidefoots is calmly and deliberately.  Past the left hand post.  Chortle and double chortle.

75th min – Yes, a bit of cheer.  Daggers draw level down Devon way.  Huzzah!

68th min – Here, Manor have a free kick from 25 yards tipped over the bar.

[audio:|titles=4 – Mid 2nd Half]

But elsewhere it’s not so good.  Frozen football.

60th min – Not too much going on so we’re chatting about darts players fighting on the oche, which happened yesterday.  Great fun.  Unlike here.

52nd min – Seven minutes of nothing here in the second half so far.  No news elsewhere either.  Bottom clenchingly cold though.  And in the FA Cup, Chelmsford City’s run looks to be over, a couple of goals and a player down.  Harumph.

4.01pm – Kick Off! As news comes through that East Thurrock United are losing too.  Not happy at all.  Although the Bees are far more unhappy here.


HALF TIME: All very comfortable for Manor here.  Basildon are trying but haven’t shown anything really threatening, and they trudge off arguing with each other.  Oops.

[audio:|titles=3 – Half Time]

Anyway, we’re off for a Bovril and a thaw.  Laters.

45th min – Hurrah!  Gavin Zico Tomlin levels things up for Southend United at Bury.  Game on!

43rd min – Here, a Southend Manor shot slides centimetres past the far post.  Of Sparta Rotterdam’s goal.  Chortle.

39th min – It’s all going Duncan Norvelle.  Daggers let in a goal now.  One drawing, three losing, not a goal between them so far.  Very poor, Vic.

35th min – Bother.  Southend United go behind in the FA Cup at Bury, just as Manor go 2-0 ahead here.

32nd min – Awful Basildon defending here luckily goes unpunished.  North of the border, the two Highland League clubs are holding their own (chortle) against SFL1 sides.  Sadly, closer to home, Chelmsford City, in which we featured two classic FA Cup battles earlier this season, trail Crawley Town.

24th min – Perfect timing.  Jay Smith beats his marker inside the left hand side of the box and slots home from around 8 yards.  1-0 to Southend Manor.

22nd min – Not particularly good here but not entirely unexpected.

[audio:|titles=2 – Mid 1st Half]

It will hopefully liven up here and elsewhere too.

20th min – Back here, and ooh, that’s a bad miss.  Basildon attack down the right, a cross field pass finds the centre forward unmarked inside the area, but he shanks it high and wide.  Not exactly liquid football here so far.

17th min – And Billericay fall behind.  Ulp.  I hexed them there.

15th min – Less action than Ladies Night at a convent so far for our sides.  Not a goal between them yet.  Dover came close with a Ricky Modeste shot, so they win the competition for most camp player’s name.

8th min – Play is stopped for an injured Manor player.  Elsewhere, Hastings United, possibly the worst team we’ve seen this season, have somehow made it into the 3rd round draw of the FA Cup after a 1-1 draw away at Harrogate Town.  Ridiculous but great.

3rd min – After early visiting pressure, Manor break forward on the right, and Chris Baddeley gets to the ball on the edge of the area, lobs over keeper Steve Brown, but hits the outside of the near post.  A real let off for Basildon.

3.00pm – KICK OFF! Manor in their normal yellow with black shorts, the Bees in all red.


2.59pm – The minute’s silence for the late Southend United and Basildon United great Mitchell Cole is so well observed you could hear the distant tweet of the birds.  Spine tingling but so, so sad.

2.55pm – The teams come out to a tiny, cold and silent crowd.  This is why I love football.  It’s the glamour.

2.50pm – Before we set off, we were watching two football games, with time running out.  We assumed West Ham and Ross County had been beaten.  But 10 minutes later, once we arrive, West Ham have won and County are denied an injury time winner by a Caley Thistle injury time equaliser.  Funny old game innit.

2.45pm – Elsewhere, Billericay Town will want to get back to winning ways shortly after their midweek hammering.  Their opponents, though, also hammered them recently, so it’s a tough ask for the New Lodge side.

East Thurrock United have an equally difficult afternoon awaiting them, at a side only beaten once at home all season.  The Rocks, though, have only lost once away, so they don’t travel without hope.

Long away days for our Football League sides, too, but Southend United have the consolation of knowing their game is an FA Cup match, so if the worst happens against a side a division above them, their promotion hopes remain untroubled by it.  They can relax and go for it – for Mitchell Cole.


2.40pm – A very good winter’s afternoon from The Southchurch Park Arena.  Haven’t been here for a while and it’s a pleasure to be back.

In the aftermath of a grisly morning for non-league and local football, it seems somehow fitting that, in place of the postponed encounter at Brentwood Town, we’ve hastily re-arranged things and got ourselves to the home of Southend Manor.

I can’t say I knew Mitchell Cole.  My only knowledge of him is the storming displays of his from midfield as Southend United took the League One title in 2006.

Latterly, he turned out briefly this season for Basildon United.  He, and the team, played well, but didn’t get the results they deserved.

I was aware of the condition he had which prevented him from furthering a promising professional career.  We all felt sympathy at the time but nobody could ever expect this morning’s tragic news.  27 is far, far too young for your time to be up.  Thoughts are with his family at this horrible time.

It will be so fitting that the last team he played for, Basildon United (the team I support coincidentally), came up with an unexpected way win here against Southend Manor.  Regardless of the result, though, it puts everything into perspective.  RIP Mitchell Cole.

[audio:|titles=1 – Preview]

As ever, keep refreshing the page every few minutes, and this afternoon’s understandably muted coverage of today’s games will come your way.


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Games People Play – The Weekend Preview

For details of another full football schedule, and a less than full rugby fixture list, the weekend preview is here.

[audio:|titles=Local Sports Weekend Preview]


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A Little Down, A Little Out – The Weekend Review

For news on a disappointing Trophy exit, and mixed fortunes in rugby, the weekend review is here.

[audio:|titles=Local Sports Weekend Review 24-25 Nov 2012]



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East Thurrock United v Leiston – LIVE

East Thurrock United 2-2 Leiston

Billericay Town 0-3 Cambridge United

Needham Market  1-1  Brentwood Town

Dagenham & Redbridge 1-0 Fleetwood Town

Southend United 3-1 Rochdale


FULL TIME Apologies again for the sporadic updates.  No dongle, no phone signal, not even a team sheet. It’s been as trying an afternoon for me as it was for the Rocks.   Let’s just say that their after match warm-down was considerably hotter and less relaxing than usual.   That’s football for you.  And life too!

[audio:|titles=8 – East Thurrock 2-2 Leiston FT Summary]

Anyway, thanks for sticking with me. And Everything Everywhere? I couldn’t get anything anywhere. Until the next time, enjoy the weekend, and your football.

84th min – Ooh, all Leiston.   A shot goes across the face of goal and goes for a corner on the right. It’s delivered superbly and it takes a last ditch header to prevent a goal.  Phew.

76th min – GOAL! ….. East Thurrock United 2, LEISTON 2 What did I say about errors?  A visiting goal kick, a free Rocks header and kick is misdirected, and EMAUELLE OSEI takes advantage, running down the left inside the area and lobbing in.

[audio:|titles=7 – East Thurrock 2-2 Leiston]

Game well and truly on.

68th min – Fingers are frozen so updates are getting more sporadic.   Fairly even at the moment. The rain has intensified though so errors are inevitable in the closing stages.   The Leiston fans are berating the ref and lino, once for an offside decision where the visiting player was at least 2 yards off.

[audio:|titles=6 – East Thurrock 2-1 Leiston Mid 2nd Half]

Great fun to see them react like that.

60th min -The conditions are winning here. The rain is now torrential. Play is very evsn, with one great save made at the Rocks end. The visiting supporters are gerting loud and a little over excited in a mix of yokel and Eastuary English. Chortle.

51st min – GOAL! ….. East Thurrock United 2, LEISTON 1 Game on.   A run down the left, a cross whipped in on the edge of the area, and the deficit is halved by BROTHERS with a close range shot.

[audio:|titles=5 – East Thurrock 2-1 Leiston]

This could be fun.

4.05pm – KICK OFF! With plenty of mickey taking at Hakeem’s dancing skills.

HALF TIME [audio:|titles=4 – East Thurrock 2-0 HT Summary]

45th min – GOAL! …..EAST THURROCK UNITED 2, Leiston 0 Well, HAKEEM ARABA gets the credit for that one. A corner on the right after a Spencer Harrison shot is saved.   There’s a melee and a terrible keeper’s error.  Hakeem celebrates and does a ridiculous robot dance so I guess he got the final touch inside the six yard box.

[audio:|titles=3 – East Thurrock 2-0 Leiston]

Oh yes!

44th min – Oof, even closer. Another centre finds the visiting forward frwe with the ball inside the six yard box. It takes a wonderful smothering save to prevent the equaliser

43rd min – Ooh, close to an equaliser. Ryan Sammons gets out of position going forward down the Rocks left. The visitors exploit the gap and a centre flashes across the face of goal.

40th min – Nothimg much going on except misplaced passes and the Leiston pensioner berating his side whenever they try to play the ball on the floor. Chortle. Elsewhere, Billericay fall behind.

30th min – Apologies for lack of updates. My dongle is done and the phone is so fiddly.  Rocks have had a Hakeem Araba goal chalked out for offside.   And there a senior citizen right in front of me with a hearing aid who thinks everyone is as hard of hearing as him, shouting louder than Concorde.  Not having a great afternoon.  But you have to chortle.

22nd min – GOAL! …. EAST THURROCK UNITED 1, Leiston 0 And a wonderful chip from Reiss Gilbey, from about 22 yards out on the mid left, opens the football.

[audio:|titles=2 – East Thurrock 1-0 Leiston]

Liquid football. Almost literally.

17th min – Having said that ….. A visiting break down the left, Rocks defenders appeal to the ref for an infringment but don’t play on, the centre meets the head of an onrushing forward but goes just wide.

15th min – Another wicked, low centre into the Leiston six yard box, and Hakeem Araba is centimetres from connecting. The Rocks have settled down well.

10th min – Play switches to the Manorway End goal. Great run and centre down the right hand side, it goes inside the six yard box, there’s a scramble, a shot cleared off the line, and Kris Newby’s follw-up slams against the near post.

3rd min – Ooh, close for the visitors. A move down the left, they get by Spencer Harrison, and the shot inside the area goes a foot wide of the near post. Blimey.

3.01pm – KICK OFF! Oh yes!


2.57pm – The teams come out to a crowd of drenched die hards.

2.55pm – The rain is chucking it down but the pitch is fandabidozy. As is Covo’s beard.

2.50pm – Oops, my dongle is on the blink. Which isn’t a euphemism. Updates are going to be tricky. Let’s see how android updates work.

2.45pm – A very good afternoon from a soggy Rookery Hill for this afternoon’s little treasure trove of football fun.

Thrilled as we were by the Rocks amazing FA Cup ties last month, it doesn’t disguise the fact that their Ryman Premier League position is a little underwhelming 15th.  Admittedly, they have games in hand, but it points Covo’s boys want.

Their opponents from East Anglia have found the going tough after last season’s promotion, and find themselves rock bottom.  It’s these games that give you the collywobbles though.  This could be a tricky afternoon.

Elsewhere, Brentwood face a long trip to Suffolk in the search for equally important points, being 18th in Ryman One North.  We were also hoping to feature Billericay Town’s FA Trophy tie with Cambridge United, but for one reason or another, it wasn’t to be, but it’s always a pleasure to follow the Rocks.

[audio:|titles=1 – East Thurrock v Leiston Preview]

You probably know the score by now.  Just refresh the page every few minutes and all the drama and japery of an afternoon at Rookery Hill shall be yours.


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Over The Posts, Under The Bar – The Weekend Preview

To find out where to go to see your local side, and with the possibility of revenge at the expense of a university city,  the weekend preview is here.

[audio:|titles=Local Sports Weekend Preview 24-25 Nov 2012]



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Saturday Afternoon Football – LIVE

Brentwood Town 4-0  Ware

Bromley  0-1  Billericay Town

Wingate & Finchley  0-1  East Thurrock United

Burton Albion  3-2  Dagenham & Redbridge

Torquay United  1-4  Southend United

Great Wakering Rovers  3-1  Hullbridge Sports


FULL TIME: It’s been, overall, an excellent one for our sides.  All of our local sides winning, Southend having a great result at Torquay.  A pity about Dagenham but I suppose we can’t have everything.  And it finished 3-1 here.

[audio:|titles=5 – Full Time Summary]

Thank you so much for logging on, hope it’s been mildly fun.  Until the next time, enjoy your weekend, and your football.


Injury Time – GOAL! And BRENTWOOD TOWN, almost inevitably it seems, go 4-0 ahead.  Poor Ware, rock bottom of Ryman One North.  But then again, another great Blues win.  Get in there boys.

88th min – And Burton take the lead again.  No, no, no, that’s simply not fair.

85th min – GOAL! And BRENTWOOD TOWN make the game safe at 3-0.  Hurrah!  A late equaliser for Dagenham as well.  Oh yes!  It’s fizzling out here at Burroughs Park.  Another game ruined by the very people who are supposed to let the match be just that.

77th min – GOAL! A good day at the Arena.  BRENTWOOD TOWN double their advantage.  Ware?  They’re not all there.  Don’t chortle.  That was terrible.

75th min – So England have lost at the rugby.  Livepool, Man City, Swansea, Southampton and West Brom are all winning in the Premier League.  And joy, Hearts lead St. Mirren.  I’m a happy bunny at last.

70th min – 3-1 here now.  Hullbridge get a ridiculous penalty after their ridiculous sending off.  Elsewhere it’s looking good for our local sides.

[audio:|titles=4 – Midway 2nd Half]

That’ll do me.

65th min – The expected terrible refereeing decision has happened.  A Hullbridge player sent off for an honest 50/50 challenge.  The ref is being assessed so it explains a lot.  In the Premier League, Chelsea now trail.  Chortle.

60th min – It’s all gone Mariella Frostrup in Staffordshire.  Daggers now trail.  Rovers now three up here.  At the rugby, Scotland have lost honourably to South Africa, 10-21.  England, with just a few minutes left, are still losing to the Aussies, 14-20.  Hmmmm.

59th min – I suppose it couldn’t last with all of our teams.  A deflected shot puts Burton level against Dagenham.  Nice while it lasted though.

56th min – Southend obviously like their visits to other seaside resorts.  4-0.  Good grief.  Fawlty Towers was on last night.  It was a sign, you know.  A sign that I like classic comedy when I come in from a night out.

51st min – Rovers go 2-0 up here.  Route one stuff.  No goals for any of our sides yet in this second half.  Further afield, Chelsea are, unsurprisingly, being held by West Brom.  And in rugby, Scotland and England trail.  Ho hum.

4.00pm – Kick Off! Ooh, blimey, that was a short break.


HALF TIME: And so far so good for all of our teams.  All winning – with four out of the five away as well.  Marvellous stuff.  Another 45 minutes like that and … well, it will be five wins.

[audio:|titles=3 – Half Time Scores]

Right, I’m off for a Bovril and a celebratory Bovril.  Laters.


Injury time: Good grief.  3-0 to Southend United.  I wonder how ex Shrimper Craig Easton is feeling in a home shirt today.  He won’t be chortling.  But it’ll have something to do with a parrot, I’m sure.  Oh yes.

45th min – Drama here as Louis Godwin Green in the Rovers goal saves a penalty.  Cracking stuff.

41st min – Ooh, close thing here.  The pinked shirt Hullbridge Sports hit the bar from a free kick.  Elsewhere, Mark Hughes is under pressure at QPR as Southampton are winning.  And north of the border bottom side Dundee are beating second placed Hibernian.  I shouldn’t – but chortle.

37th min – GOAL! And that makes it perfect.  Word reaches me – from a Ware fan rather than through anyone from the home club – that Brentwood had taken the lead much earlier on through a penalty.  Oh yes.  Indeed yes.

34th min – A goal in front of me too.  Danny Heale gives Rovers the lead after a bit of a scramble from a corner.

33rd min – GOAL! Getting better too.  Ex ESL striker Dwight Gayle gives the Daggers the lead up at Burton.  Blimey.

27th min – I’m glad the match here seems pretty dull apart from Hullbridge’s pink shirts, as all the action is elsewhere.

[audio:|titles=2 – Midway 1st Half]

A good start.

21st min -GOAL! Get in there!  Word reaches me that EAST THURROCK UNITED have scored an early goal through Kye Ruel.  Spiffing start.  Quite evenly balanced here at Burroughs Park, the 3 or 4 minutes I’ve watched.

19th min – GOAL! Cooking on gas now.  BILLERICAY TOWN take the lead through Jay May.  Bang on!

17th min – Ooh, goalio!  The Shrimpers put their noses in front at Plainmoor.  The Gulls will be after them now.

12th min – The floodlights have gone off.  Again.  Chortle.  Again.  At the rugby, England are drawing with Australia and Scotland are being gubbed by South Africa.  But no hint of a goal at our games so far though.

7th min – No goals here or anywhere so far.  Rovers almost scored in the first 30 seconds, Hullbridge had half a shout for a penalty.  Lots of goals at the Emirates though.  The vast majority of  them in Tottenham’s net.  Chortle.  And a full house at Tynecastle for the excitement and thrill of Hearts v St. Mirren.  Why wouldn’t there be?

3.01pm – Kick Off!  Oh yes!


2.55pm – Before all the Saturday afternoon fun begins, Joe and I took in some Friday night football.  Barnet are due to move out of Underhill in 2013.  We took in their League 2 clash against Accrington Stanley, and for those of you who missed the twitter feed, here’s how it went.

[audio:|titles=Barnet 1-1 Accrington Stanley]

Yep,  we certainly enjoyed our night out in North London, and will try to make it back before the ground is no more.  Well worth a visit.


2.50pm – Elsewhere, in the whole wide world of sport, there’s another weekend of rugby internationals, including England v Australia and Scotland v Seuth Efriker.  I remember a few years ago I went to Scotland v Australia rather than England v Springboks.

Only because it was actually cheaper for me to get a ticket for that game, train to Stansted, flight to Edinburgh, and bus to Murrayfield, than it was for just one England ticket.   With tickets from just a tenner today up in Chilly Jocko Land, I’ve no doubt it’d be cheaper to go there again.   Ridiculous but that’s how it is with England rugby these days.


2.45pm – A very good afternoon, today from Burroughs Park, for another thrill-laden rollercoaster ride that is matchday for our local sides.

Yet again, family circumstances dictate that I can only venture as far as my local club rather than out and about at one of the featured games itself.  In particular, for one reason or another, it’s over two months since Billericay Town had the live treatment.  That will be rectified sooner rather than later.

At the moment all of our non-league sides are in the lower reaches of their divisions, and it’s getting to the stage when they need to start picking up those three points regularly.  East Thurrock United look particularly vulnerable at this stage.

It’s not that much better for our League Two sides, mind.  Both are drifting away in mid-table and have tricky away matches to contend with, although with Burton Albion having played less than 48 hours ago, the Daggers will feel they have a good chance of a win today.

The game I’m at, just round the corner from me, features the ESL’s top side, Great Wakering Rovers, in a local derby against Hullbridge Sports, who have a tasty looking Essex Senior Cup tie at home to Southend United coming up.

In truth, I have little affinity with Rovers, and their games tend to be dull, so I’ll be just keeping an eye on the game rather than watching it intently, as the scores come in from around the ground.  As well as indulging in some unfunny one-liners at the expense of more well known clubs.  One way or another, it’ll be a chortle.

[audio:|titles=Matchday Preview]

As ever, keep refreshing the page every few minutes, and all the fun of the local football fair will be yours.



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Moving On Up – The Weekend Preview

For news on who’s playing where, as all of our teams try to work their way up their leagues, the weekend preview is here.

[audio:|titles=Local Sports Preview 17-18 Nov 2012]


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Midweek Football LIVE

Brentwood Town 1-4  Kingstonian

East Thurrock United 1-3  Bury Town

Clapton  1-1  Southend Manor


FULL TIME:  Oh, what fun it was too.  A bad night for our sides, sadly, but at least the fireworks at the Old Spotted Dog was spectacular.

[audio:|titles=7 – Clapton 1-1 Southend Manor FT Summary]

Until the weekend (we are still unsure as to what featured live there will be then) enjoy yourselves, and your football.


90th min – GOAL! ….. CLAPTON 1,  Southend Manor 1 I don’t believe this.  Sixtth live game on the trot with a last minute equaliser!

[audio:|titles=6 – Clapton 1-1 Southend Manor]

Great stuff Clapton.

85th min – Time is ticking away for Clapton to stop my colleague losing run of 29 years (with the odd draw – and believe me, in the ESL, they are all odd).  The game has been poor, but the fireworks and singing has been a bit of a chortle.  Great to be here tonight.

80th min – Yet another player being treated.  Elsewhere, Concord are beating Takeley 8-1 in the Essex Senior Cup.  Jason Hallett has netted seven of the hosts eight goals.  After Takeley took the lead too.  Crumbs.

75th min – Turns out it was Southend Manor’s token Sunderland fan, Chris Baddeley, that whacked the Manor goal in.  The scoreline is getting more depressing at Rookery Hill.  Ah well.  At least the fireworks here are good.

71st min – GOAL! ….. Clapton 0,  SOUTHEND MANOR 1 Good grief, what a goal.  What a pity I didn’t see it.

[audio:|titles=5 – Clapton 0-1 Southend Manor]

Liquid football.  Apparently.

65th min – Manor have got on top, creating chances, forcing corners.  Who cares, though?  We’re fearing for our lives with these continual explosions around us.

[audio:|titles=4 – Clapton – Southend Manor Mid 2nd]

Plenty of time for a goal though.

60th min – Ooh, Chris Baddeley of  Southend Manor is lucky not to see yellow at least for what looked to be a studs up tackle.  Elsewhere, Braintree trail 2-0 to Tranmere in the FA Cup and now East Thurrock have fallen behind.  Bah.

55th min – The So Solid Crew appear to have become Clapton fans, judging by all their drum’n’bass chants.  Meanwhile, smoke envelopes us and there’s the constant sound of explosives going off.  Just like a normal evening out at Bas Vegas.  There may have been a handball inside the Manor area but nobody could see.

50th min – Bah.  Bury Town draw level at Rookery Hill.  Someone’s just asked what Clapton’s nickname was, amongst all the firecrackers and occasional outbreaks of a football match.  “Down the tubes” was the laconic reply.  Chortle.

8.50pm – Kick off! Oh yes.


HALF TIME:  And, as the fireworks start to land on the pitch, one way or another, it was great fun here at the Old Spotted Dog.  Manor should be down to 10 men, no doubt about that.  Even so, Clapton have been better even at 11 v 11.  Great news for East Thurrock, but as for Brentwood, ahem …..

[audio:|titles=3 – Clapton 0-0 Southend Manor HT Summary]

Right, I’m off for a Bovril and a banger.  Laters.


45th min – Some liquid football from Clapton.  Manor keeper Adam Seal is forced into superbly parrying a fierce 25 yard shot for a corner.  From that comes another shot which just evades the top left hand corner of the net.

40th min – “Come on Ashley Cole” shouts one of the home supporters to their injured full back.  Well, he might be actually sending a voicemail message on vibrate mode to someone, but it’s doubtful.  Vision is seriously impaired by the fireworks, meanwhile.  Not too sure if we’re in East London or East Beirut at the moment.

35th min – Elsewhere, for Essex sides, Braintree trail Tranmere in the FA Cup, and Chelmsford are level 1-1 with Dover in the FA Trophy.  Here at the Old Spotted Dog, it’s still the hosts having slightly the better of it.

31st min – Hurrah, a bit of cheer at last, as Sam Collins gives the Rocks the lead.  A delay here as a Clapton player is treated.  At least I think so.  Difficult to tell in all the smoke.

25th min – Lots of handbags after a Southend Manor forward kicks out at a Clapton defender while he’s lying on the floor.

[audio:|titles=2 – Clapton – Southend Manor Mid 1st Half]

Incredibly he gets only a yellow, whilst the Clapton goalie gets a yellow for dissent.

22nd min – Gloomier by the minute at the Arena.  Only International Rescue can save Brentwood now.

17th min – Ooh, a speculative Clapton shot from just over 20 yards goes just outside the right hand post.  Could the 29 year hoodoo be broken?  My colleague here is starting to shake.  But that’s more to do with the bangers going off.

12th min – As soon as I say that, word reaches me that Brentwood have fallen a goal behind at the Arena.  Now that’s just not playing the game.

10th min – No news yet of any goals at Brentwood or East Thurrock.  Or anywhere for that matter.  Clapton have started the better here.  There’s loads of fireworks going off around us.  Apparently it’s Divali tonight.  I think the wailing siren sounds, though, indicates it’s something other than fireworks.  Ulp.

5th min – Bit of early Clapton pressure, a corner that came to nothing and shot that was deflected wide.  Manor just tried to play through the centre but had as much success as Helen Flanagan.

7.48pm – KICK OFF! Oh …


7.45pm – The teams come out to a small but enthusiastic crowd.

7.40pm – For the unitiated, Clapton and Southend Manor are languishing in the lower reaches of the Essex Senior League.  There is, of course, no ESL sides in the Brentwood or Billericay areas, but so many players at Ryman League and Conference level come through this league.  And Clapton is almost in our area.

The ground isn’t the grandest, and I remember the afternoon where ‘H’ was asked to bring his gun after one such game.  Great fun.

7.35pm – A very good evening from the Old Spotted Dog, home of London’s oldest senior football club, Clapton, for a trip out of the ordinary.  Something which is in danger of becoming the norm, though, bearing in mind the continual dramatic finishes recently.

Brentwood Town are having their moment in the sun presently.  A home clash with Colchester United waiting in the wings in the Essex Senior Cup, if they can finish off the job tonight against Kingstonian, a mouth watering FA Trophy clash at home to Conference high flyers Dartford will be theirs.

Meanwhile, East Thurrock United will be busting a gut to get one over Bury Town in the Ryman Premier tonight at Rookery Hill.  Feelings are still a bit raw from last season’s League Cup Final, when the Rocks were lucky to lose only by 1-0.  Revenge is the dish they want to serve this cold evening.

Alas, other commitments elsewhere mean I wouldn’t make either game until well after kick-off.  Instead, though, a bit of one of those odd little quirks that make life fun.  Tonight’s summariser with me hasn’t seen Clapton, the team his late father played for, win for a staggering 29 years.  For one person at least, it could be a bit of history.

One way or another, this could be one hell of a night at the football.

[audio:|titles=1 – Evening Preview]

As ever, keep refreshing the page every few minutes, and a night of fulsome footballing fun will be yours.


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Getting Through, Going Out, Another Chance – The Weekend Review

For news on some notable away wins, and yet another late, late equaliser, the weekend review is here.

[audio:|titles=Local Sports Review 10-11 Nov 2012]


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FA Trophy LIVE: Kingstonian v Brentwood Town

Kingstonian  2-2  Brentwood Town

Billericay Town 3-2  Enfield Town

Dagenham & Redbridge 5-0  Rotherham United

Southend United 0-0  Port Vale


FULL TIME:  Becoming almost blase about these dramatic late finishes but it took me by surprise.  I was all ready to sum up a brave effort from Brentwood, but they went and Blewitt all out of the water as far as the hosts were concerned.

Terrible first half, good second half.  The replay could be special.

[audio:|titles=8 – Kingstonian 2-2 Brentwood FT Summary]

Next up will be the replay at The Arena.  Get yourself there if you can.  Until then, enjoy your weekend, and your football.


89th min – GOAL! ….. Kingstonian 2,  BRENTWOOD TOWN 2 Yet again, late drama!  A corner on the left, the slightest of touches from the head of  DARREN BLEWITT, and it hits the far post and goes in!

[audio:|titles=7 – Kingstonian 2-2 Brentwood]

Get.  In.  There!

88th min – All Brentwood possession-wise, but creating nothing.

84th min – More Brentwood pressure results in a corner from each flank.  But they are easily defended.  Bah.

80th min – Just a blocked Daryl Robson shot to show for visiting pressure these past few minutes.  Time is ticking away.

77th min – A Brentwood substitution.  Robbie Rees comes on for Greg Cohen.

75th min – Another save from Justham, this time from a low shot on the left, that the ref doesn’t see and gives a goal kick.  Chortle.

72nd min – From a home throw-in on the left comes a move and volley on the edge of the area, which Elliott Justham does superbly well to tip over the bar.  Cracking football at last.

69th min – Sorry for the break in updates there, too many goals and stuff in too short a time to get the updates here as regular as I’d like.  Fairly evenly balanced now, both sides looking threatening coming forward now, but neither keeper has been stretched since the last goal.

61st min – GOAL! ….. KINGSTONIAN 2,  Brentwood Town 1 Good grief, a set piece works.  A corner on the right and TOM HUTCHINSON powers home a header from inside the six yard box.

[audio:|titles=6 – Kingstonian 2-1 Brentwood]

Cruel but that’s the Trophy.

57th min – GOAL! ….. Kingstonian 1,  BRENTWOOD TOWN 1 Oh yes!  From yet another terrribly executed Kingstonian set piece, there’s a Brentwood break on the right, and ALEX READ beautifully lobs into the far post corner of the net just inside the area.

[audio:|titles=5 – Kingstonian 1-1 Brentwood]

Liquid football!

51st min – GOAL! ….. KINGSTONIAN 1,  Brentwood Town 0 Rough justice, but that’s how it rolls in one-offs.  The ball is played into the area on the left, and CRAIG MULLEN, the sub, lifts it over one defender and into the net, despite a desperate attempt to kick it off the line.

[audio:|titles=4 – Kingstonian 1-0 Brentwood]

Ho hum.

49th min – A Kingstonian corner on the right is up the usual standard today, unerringly finding the right boot of a defender on the edge of the area.  I’m not saying it’s dull, but I’m currently dispensing hangover cures on twitter.

4.06pm – Kick Off! Please let it be better.


HALF TIME:  Thank goodness for that.  The poorest 45 minutes of the season so far.  No blame attached to Brentwood for this though, they’ve been tidy, efficient, and as the away team doing a more than adequate job.  It’s simply been thoroughly poor from the hosts, who only woke up just before the break.  Things can only get better, surely?

[audio:|titles=3 – Kingstonian 0-0 Brentwood HT Summary]

Right, off for a Bovril and some mogadon.  Laters.


44th min – The Kingstonian twitter feed describes that miss from Wase Small as “denying everyone the chance to see the best K’s goal ever.”   What planet are they on?  They certainly can’t be on this planet.  Or Kingstonian have never ever scored ever.

41st min – It’s still not cleared properly, and from the right, the ball is volleyed inside the area.  It hits the roof of the terracing behind the goal but the home fans ooh and aah as if it was cleared off the line.  I suppose it did count as a chance, though, so no wonder they cheered, I guess.

40th min – At last, a bit of home danger, as the ball is centred low from the right and only half cleared, then high from the left that Elliott Justham had to stretch to tip away.

37th min – Abs Seymour is the subject of a clumsy tackle, wide on the right near the halfway line, with the miscreant being booked.  Poor tackle neatly summarising a poor home performance to date.

32nd min – That should have been 1-0 to Brentwood.  Nice through ball to Alex Read on the edge of the area, easily beating the offside trap.  He shoots straight away, though, a weak curler that is easily saved.  A great chance wasted.

29th min – Going forward, Greg Cohen passes the ball straight to an opposing defender, whose long run results in a corner on the Kingstonian left.  Just as well they’ve been rubbish at set pieces thus far.  It ends with a Brentwood break and a Sam Battick shot going high and wide.

24th min – A moment of menace on the Kingstonian right as their winger loses his marker but in the end Abs Seymour clears the danger.

[audio:|titles=2 – Kingstonian 0-0 Brentwood Mid 1st]

Brentwood slightly shading it so far though.

19th min – Brentwood, from Eliiott’s kick, force a corner on the left.  It’s delivered at speed right into the six yard box, but nobody gets a touch.  A flash of danger, though.

18th min – A K’s free kick on the left touchline goes the same way as their earlier effort, into Justham’s hands.  Very wasteful from the hosts.

14th min – First sign of Kingstonian pressure.  The win a corner on the left, and from that, they try a centre from the right into the six yard box, but it goes straight into Elliott Justham’s hands.

11th min – Abs Thompson, from the half way line, hoists a free kick to the right hand edge of the home box.  Greg Cohen gets by his man cleverly but his shot from a tight angle just about catches the 131 bus to Kingston.

8th min – Ooh, so close for a Brentwood Town opener!  Nice run from Alex Read on the left, he gets to the bye line and cuts inside the Kingstonian box.  His low centre across the six yard box evades the keeper – but everyone else.  Encouraging stuff though.

7th min – Daryl Robson gets a yellow card for the first foul of the game, without any malice, more or less on the half way line.  Blimey.

5th min – Nothing to see so far.  Apart from the worst throw-in ever from Brentwood, which was like a glitch on Fifa 13.  Chortle.

3.03pm – KICK OFF! Oh yes!


3.00pm – The minute’s silence for Remembrance Weekend is impeccably observed.  Today, is after all, only a game.

2.58pm – And out they come to one shout of “Come on Brentwood” and a ripple of applause.  You can feel the excitement.  Or possibly indigestion.

2.55pm – We await the sides to the sounds of Fanfare For The Common People.

2.52pm – Team News: Brentwood Town go with:

1  – Elliott Justham

2  – Ryan Doyle

3  – Abs Seymour

4  – Daryl Robson

5  – Darren Blewitt (c)

6  – Sam West

7  – Abs Thompson

8  – Sam Battick.

9  – Alex Read

10 – Neil Cousins

11 – Greg Cohen

2.50pm – Updates may be a bit slow today as broadband connection is slower than an asthmatic tortoise.  With this dongle you can barely get anything anywhere, Kevin Bacon.

For some reason, Kingstonian have opened three stands for today.  There seems to be barely enough to fill one at the moment.

2.45pm – Elsewhere, Billericay Town are in the exact opposite role as ‘Wood, at home to a side one league below them, but with the added sting of having beaten their opponents 7-0 in a pre-season friendly.  Enfield Town will have a point to prove.

East Thurrock United have the unusual luxury of a spare weekend, whereas for our League Two sides, it’s back to divisional action with a couple of home games.  Still, we all like bread and butter, don’t we.  I used to prefer marge, mind, but she left some time ago.

2.40pm – Welcome, everyone, to this afternoon’s frivolities from Kingsmeadow.  After all the fun of the FA Cup, could there be more spills and thrills in the Trophy?  Brentwood Town have at last run into a bit of form and seemed to have recovered from that grisly afternoon at South Park.  Redemption for that day could be on its way.

It’s a tough ask though.  Kingstonian are in fine form themselves and currently occupy a play-off slot in the Ryman Premier, one division above Brentwood.  But, as we know, this is what cup – and trophy – upsets are about.  Forget the league, this is just a one-off.  And it could be a cracker.

[audio:|titles=1 – Kingstonian v Brentwood Preview]

As ever, keep refreshing the page every few minutes, and you never know, there could be a few early fireworks coming your way.



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Up For The Cup, Class In The Vase – The Weekend Preview

For news on potential FA Trophy giantkillings on Saturday, FA Cup derby drama on Saunday, and something in a vase, the weekend preview is here.

[audio:|titles=Local Sports Preview 10-11 Nov 2012]


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Sad And Soggy – The Weekend Review

For news on which sides were rained off, and which ones wish they had been (there’s quite a few, too), the weekend review is here.

[audio:|titles=Weekend Review 3-4 Nov 2012]
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Home And Away, Points And Cups – The Weekend Preview

For news on league matches for the men, and a local cup derby for the women, the weekend preview is here.

[audio:|titles=Weekend Preview 3-4 Nov 2012]
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Anyone Who Had A Hearts Would Love Them Too

As regulars to ‘Between The Lines’ and the online match service will know, October was seen out with a rare absence of live local coverage.

The reason?  A long ago booked up trip to the Auld Reekie, Edinburgh, to take in Hearts v Ross County and the rugby league international between Scotland and England.

Being of Scottish bloodlines, Ross County were always my ‘team’ north of the border back in their Highland League days.  Hearts were always my ‘league team’.  I never thought in a million years they would ever meet in the SPL.





Joe and I, of course, had our take on things

[audio:|titles=Hearts v Ross County Preview]


And when Hearts took the lead

This was our take on it:

[audio:|titles=Hearts 1-0 Ross County]


It was a lead Hearts held until this penalty:






Joe and I were at a loss to understand why:

[audio:|titles=Hearts 1-1 Ross County]


Then, despite Hearts deserving to be on level terms at least, it was the visitors from Dingwall who took the lead, much to the delight of the hundreds of  County fans that had made the 350+ mile round trip.






It was a decent goal, mind:

[audio:|titles=Hearts 1-2 Ross County]


Ordinarily, I’d have had this as a cast iron away win with such a late goal and turnaround.  But not with the dramatic late finishes we’ve had online.  And so it proved.  John Sutton struck …

Both Joe and I, as you can imagine, went away happy

[audio:|titles=Hearts 2-2 Ross County]




The following day we were at the quaintly named Meggetland for the rugby league interntional between Scotland and England.





We, of course, had our own spin on things:

[audio:|titles=Scotland v England Preview]


By half time, with the pipe band blaring, England were almost out of sight.





We were particularly pleased for one local player:

[audio:|titles=Scotland 12-28 England – Half Time]


The second half was the same.  England ran out very easy winners, and London Broncos’ Dan Sarginson was a very happy European champion.

Whereas Joe and I were simply happy to have been there and seen England crowned champions on Auld Enemy turf:

[audio:|titles=Scotland 24-62 England – Full Time]


And that was why there was no live local coverage as October came to a close.  A fabulous city, Edinburgh, teeming with so many things to do.  With plenty of sport, as it turned out, too.  Forget the quality, the entertainment from both games was worth the trip alone.

If you fancy a sporting weekend away from the norm, try Edinburgh.  One way or another, you won’t be disappointed!


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Home Comforts For Men As The Ladies Play Away – The Weekend Preview

To find out where to watch your local side, and who they are playing, the weekend preview is here.

[audio:|titles=Weekend Preview 27-28 Oct 2012]

Sadly, there’s no featured live match either online or during Between The Lines this weekend, but early next week there will be a special feature on a weekend of international duty.  Stay tuned!


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The FA Cup Replay LIVE: East Thurrock United v Chelmsford City

East Thurrock United 4-4  Chelmsford City

(Chelmaford City win 5-3 on penalties)

Brentwood Town 0-2  Waltham Abbey

Billericay Town 2-3  Chesham United

Dagenham & Redbridge 1-1  Exeter City

Southend United 1-2  Aldershot Town


Final penalty score: East Thurrock United 3-5 Chelmsford City Anthony Cook with the decisive penalty.  What a game.  Unbelievable.  Magical.

[audio:|titles=13 – Penalties]

Thank you for sharing this magnificent event with me.  Enjoy yourself, and your football.








Newby misses.


For the sake of clarity I will do the scores, no chat, just scores.


121st min – GOAL! ….. EAST THURROCK UNITED 4,  Chelmsford City 4.  No pretence of impartiality.  KRIS NEWBY.  25 yard shot.  Roof of the net.  I want your babies

[audio:|titles=12 – East Thurrock 4-4 Chelmsford]

The best FA Cup game I’ve ever seen.  Bar none.

120th min – Oh, so close.  Reiss Gilbey crosses from the left, Newby heads it.  A foot over.

118th min – Immense, intense East Thurrock pressure.  City are hanging on by their fingertips.

116th min – GOAL! ….. East Thurrock United 3,  CHELMSFORD CITY 4 Here’s your Cup story.  A corner on the right, and ex Rocks playmaker MAX CORNHILL, who scored the own goal equaliser on Satirday, heads home.

[audio:|titles=11 – East Thurrock 3-4 Chelmsford]

What.  A.  Game.

114th min – Kris Newby hits a shot from 30 yards onto the A13.  I think it done it just to get a breather.

111th min – And again East Thurrock reply in kind.  Kris Newby dribbles past a couple of defenders on the left inside the area, and his goalbound shot is superbly saved by Searle.

110th min – Jamie Riley comes to East Thurrock’s rescue.  Anthony Cook uses his trickery inside the area, his shot on the right looks all ends up a goal, but Riley parries superbly.

107th min – The ref almost had an assist there.  A Rocks pass bounces off him into the path of Reiss Gilbey, he puts in Sam Higgins, but Stuart Searle blocks his shot inside the area well.

Extra time half time And Ishmael Welsh replaces Craig Calver for City.  Time to draw breath.

102nd min – GOAL! ….. East Thurrock United 3,  CHELMSFORD CITY 3 Great cross by Anthony Cook, and JAMIE SLABBER puts it away.  Although nobody really knew.

[audio:|titles=10 = East Thurrock 3-3 Chelmsford]

Unbelievable, Jeff.

100th min – Play is held up while treatment is given to a City player.

95th min – GOAL! ….. EAST THURROCK UNITED 3,  Chlemsford City 2 You have to feel sorry for Clarets keeper Stuart Searle.  SAM HIGGINS runs unchallenged on the right, he shoots inside the area, and it somehow slips through Searle’s body into the net.

[audio:|titles=9 – East Thurrock 3-2 Chelmsford]

Who would dare predict what would happen next?

93rd min – Rocks applying the pressure, earning corners and keeping possession in the Clarets half.

Extra Time Kick Off!  Oh yes!


FULL TIME:  I just don’t believe this.  You just knew that something dramatic could happen, that’s the Rocks way.  But you never believed they would.  Thoroughly deserved, though, on the basis of that awful refereeing decision.   Who’s going to win?  What a daft question!


93rd min – GOAL! ….. EAST THURROCK UNITED 2,  Chelmsford City 2 I can hardly believe this!  A long ball finds Hakeem Araba.  The Clarets defence simply can’t handle him.  He slipped the ball to SAM COLLINS inside the area, and he scores a sensational equaliser!

[audio:|titles=8 – East Thurrock 2-2 Chelmsford]

Epic.  Absolutely epic.

Injury Time: As a Simmonds shot on the left bye-line flashes across the face of the Rocks goal.  5 to go.

89th min – A long free kick from Kris Newby on the right, Hakeem Araba cushions it to Matt Hall on the edge of the area, but his shot is about a foot over.

87th min – It’s all East Thurrock now, and I can smell something not very nice emanating from some City supporters trousers.  The lino, ironically, spots a Rocks handball, to relieve the pressure.

84th min – Real controversy.  Kris Newby gets clear on the right.  His centre into the area is fast and hard.  A Clarets defender clearly handles the ball.  The ref, incredibly, plays on.  As Joe says, what’s the point of a ref being in the box when he can’t see what everyone else did?

80th min – Ohhhh, so close to an equaliser.  A corner on the right, Hakeem Araba meets it perfectly at the far post, the header looks goalbound, but somehow Stuart Searle gets his hand to it.  Tremendous football.

78th min – And Matt’s first contribution is a yellow card for what was deemed a bad tackle.  The Chelmsford fans screamed for a red card.  It looked ok by me.  So the ref probably had it right, despite the retro 80’s anti ref chants from behind the Bus Stops End goal by the Rocks faithful.

74th min – Rocks getting closer.  Hakeem Araba beat the offside trap but couldn’t quite control the ball.  Then a corner on the right evades everyone but goes just wide of the far post.  Ryan Sammons has gone off for Matt Hall as John Coventry shuffles the pack again

70th min – Oof.  Kris Newby gets a touch of the yellows for a crunching tackle.

[audio:|titles=7 – East Thurrock 1-2 Chelmsford 70 mins]

Still all to play for.

68th min – And Sam Collins replaces Ross Parmenter for the hosts.  Fairly even at this stage.  Every spectator’s rear end is twitching a bit for different reasons.

65th min – Donovan Simmonds has replaced Rob Edmans for City.  It looked as if Rob had pulled up a few seconds before that.  Blimey, that makes him sound like a Grand National horse.  But he’s had a grand game.  From the horse’s mouth.

63rd min – Back come Chelmsford and an on-target shot inside the area is deflected for a corner.  The ball is nodded home but the lino’s flag was already up for what I suppose was a push.

60th min – Chelmsford are starting to give away one or two silly free kicks.  The nerves are jangling, you know.   Aiden Palmer is booked from the latest one on the right, and from that Hakeem Araba heads about a yard wide at the far post.

56th min – Small signs of the Rocks getting into it.  Hakeem Araba is starting to make a menace of himself and Reiss Gilbey has played one or two decent passes.  Ross Parmenter is also ‘working his socks off’, in the Steve Tilson vernacular.

52nd min – As you can imagine, East Thurrock have tried to fight back, but all that has happened was a long range Reiss Gilbey shot which went well wide of the left hand post.

48th min – GOAL! ….. East Thurrock United 1,  CHELMSFORD CITY 2 Well it has been coming.  Another wonderful Anthony Cook cross wide on the right, found ROB EDMANS inside the six yard box, in a central position, and he couldn’t miss from there.

[audio:|titles=6 – East Thurrock 1-2 Chelmsford]

North face of the Eiger time for the Rocks.

8.50pm – Kick Off! Can we last the 90 minutes, let alone the players?


HALF TIME:  And breathe.  Once again a magnificent game, albeit almost completely one sided this time.  Chelmsford City will be wondering how on earth they’re not ahead by at least three clear goals as play seems to have been almost entirely in and around the East Thurrock United penalty area.  But again, that’s the Cup.  There will be a few nerves in both camps.

[audio:|titles=5 – East Thurrock 1-1 Chelmsford Half Time Summary]

Right, off for a Bovril and an Oxygen tank.  Laters.


45th min – And that was almost 2-1 to the Rocks.  Exactly the same move.  Newby cross on the right.  Araba header at the far post.  A foot wide.

44th min – Oof, that was almost 2-1 to the Clarets.  Lovely cross on the right from Anthony Cook.  It finds the head of Max Cornhill at the far post, but from eight yards out, it goes wide.

42nd min – Brief respite for the Rocks as they begin to push up just a tad.  Kris Newby tries to deliver a cross on the right but it goes harmlessly over the Manorway End goal.  For the Rocks that’s the most pressure they’ve had since the goal.

39th min – Still attack v defence.  A real brown trouser moment as it looked like Edmans was through on goal again.  But Riley collects.  And the ref blew for offside anyway.  But still, phew.

34th min – A nice cross field pass and nod down finds Dave Rainford in space, but his shot from 20 yards goes just past the left hand post.  The pressure from Chelmsford is relentless at the moment.

32nd min – Just the briefest semblence of the Rocks settling down a bit, but the Clarets are well on top.  Another melee just a minute or go, but was cleared a little less frenzied.

28th min – Been Chelmsford threatening, with their tails obviously up from that goal.  Jamie Riley redeemed himself with a brilliant, low, tip around the far post , and there was another scramble which in the end was dealt with by Riley again.

22nd min – GOAL! ….. East Thurrock United 1,  CHELMSFORD CITY 1 It was coming but it was in the most agonising of ways.  There was a scramble in the six yard box from a corner, a shot came in, it looked like Jamie Riley had it easily covered, but he spilled it, and ROB EDMANS had an easy tap-in.

[audio:|titles=4 – East Thurrock 1-1 Chelmsford]

What a game – again!

18th min – This time it was Anthony Cook causing problems down the right, he gets almost to the bye-line, puts the cross in, and it rebounds off the crossbar before being steered to safety.  Blimey.

16th min – The first signs of Chelmsford menace.  A nice through ball centrally to Rob Edmans just inside the area.  He has a sight of goal momentarily but is well shepherded by Spencer Harrison.  Chelsea are also behind, and as entirely expected, Celtic take the lead in Barcelona.

12th min – An early booking.  Hakeem Araba gets a yellow card for a clumsy rather than malicious tackle.

9th min – An early substitution for the Clarets, Rainford on for Bridges.  Meanwhile, Southend fall behind.  Atmosphere here at Rookery Hill has livened up no end since that goal, understandably.

7th min – Both sides have begun to settle down after that sensational start.  Hakeem Araba has skied one over the bar.  Elsewhere, Man Utd are losing.  Chortle.

44 seconds – GOAL! ….. EAST THURROCK UNITED 1,  Chelmsford City 0 An unbelievably explosive start by the hosts!  They go on the attack down the left from the kick-off, Kye Ruel feeds in SAM HIGGINS, his first shot goes across the face of goal, but isn’t cleared, and his second shot, from 10 yards, goes low into the right hand corner of the net.

[audio:|titles=3 – East Thurrock 1-0 Chelmsford]

Liquid football!

7.48pm – Kick Off! Oh yes!


7.44pm – The teams come out to generous applause and the odd chant.  Well, what do you expect, we’re odd people.

7.42pm – It’s evident that the Chelmsford supporters are significantly outnumbering the East Thurrock fans.  Not surprising, considering the clubs’ average crowds, and the Rocks didn’t do so badly at Rookery Hill the other week when Maidstone United supporters invaded the place.

7.40pm – While we’re waiting for the teams to come out, we’ve just seen a vid clip, evidently from the far east, where 36 players were sent off after a mass brawl.  Sounds like a typical Friday night in Bas Vegas.  Although one of the punches was so girly the player’s been recruited for a Culture Club tribute band.

7.35pm – It’s strangely subdued tonight, despite the large crowd.  Perhaps the supporters are thinking too much about what might occur.  As Bob Stokoe once said, though, “Enjoy yourselves, and whatever happens, happens.”  As I recall he may have won something.

7.30pm – Joe’s just pointed out the slightly less than perfect state of the pitch.  It looks a bit like a green coloured photocopy when it’s just about to run out of ink.  Pretty flat, though, and no rain as yet, so we should be okay.

7.25pm – Team News For all the visiting fans logging on, welcome.  The Clarets line up is:

1. – Stuart Searle.  2 – Richard Brindley.  3 – Aiden Palmer.  4 – Justin Miller.  5 – Kenny Clark (c).  6 – David Bridges.  7 – Anthony Cook.  8 – Robert Edmans.  9 – Jamie Slabber.  10 – Max Cornhill.  11 – Craig Calver.  SUBS:  12 – Nicolas Bondon.  14 – David Rainford.  15 – Donovan Simmonds.  16 – Adam Tann.  17 – Ishmael Welsh.  18 – Warren Whitely.  19 – Tom Warren.

You may ask why the Chelmsford line-up is written like that (probably not, mind).  Pure ease of reference.  A simple glance and you’ll see the Rocks as vertical and Clarets as horizontal.  And me some way in between in the bar afterwards possibly.

7.20pm – Team News  East Thurrock United bid for glory with:

1.  Jamie Riley

2.  Ryan Sammons

3.  Tom Stephen

4.  Simon Peddie

5.  Spencer Harrison

6.  Ross Parmenter

7.  Kris Newby

8.  Reiss Gilbey  (c)

9.  Sam Higgins

10.  Hakeem Araba.

11.  Kye Ruel


12.  Sam Collins

14.  Matt Hall

15.  Joe Keith

16.  Marc Gorbell

17.  Richard Wray

So wholesale changes.  Well, it is for Covo.  One.  Jamie Riley in for the injured Richard Wray, who is simply there as standby.  Three internal stitches and 15 stitches around the eyebrow after Saturday’s clash of heads.  Ouch.  Get well soon Richard.

7.15pm – Both teams are limbering up, the floodlights are all on, the crowd is building, but there are other clubs playing tonight.  Here’s how Joe and I have seen their seasons so far.

[audio:|titles=2 – Local Football Analysis]

Lawro and Hansen?  Pah.  Ameteurs, man,

7.05pm – And in the whole wide world of soccerball, Spartak Moscow have beaten Benfica 2-1.  Celtic have an easy one at Barcelona.  And Chelsea and Man. Utd. are in action too, anti-racist t-shirts or not.  I wonder if John Terry has a sense of irony.  There you are, don’t say I ignore all the big time football.  I just don’t take it too seriously.

6.55pm – Elsewhere it’s a busy night for our sides.  Brentwood Town are playing one of their games in hand at the Arena.  Three points would come in handy.  Dagenham and Southend will be looking to get back on track after disappointing weekend defeats.  And Billericay have arranged a friendly to keep the side ticking over after an enforced break due to other clubs cup commitments.

6.50pm – A very good evening from an expectant, vibrant and excited Rookery Hill for part two of this FA Cup battle.

My oh my, what a first game at the weekend.  Shots and headers off the bar, bizarre refereeing, a dramatic end to the 90 minutes, then a sensational end to injury time.  It had everything.

And what a carrot that’s being dangled in front of these sides tonight.  A home time against the Essex representative in Football League One, Colchester United a week on Saturday.

This is what the FA Cup is all about.  I simply cannot wait.

[audio:|titles=1 – East Thurrock v Chelmsford Preview]

You know the drill.  Refresh the page every few minutes, and the drama, the thrill, the glory and the agony that is the FA Cup will come your way.


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Tales Of The Unbelievable – The Weekend Review

For news of a late, great, amazing finale in the FA Cup, and three away wins on the trot elsewhere, the weekend review is here.

[audio:|titles=Weekend Review 20-21 Oct 2012]


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The FA Cup LIVE: Chelmsford City v East Thurrock United

Chelmsford City  2-2 East Thurrock United

Brentwood Town 3-2  Witham Town

Morecambe  1-0  Southend United

York City  3-2  Dagenham & Redbridge


FULL TIME:  And a replay at Rookery Hill in the most dramatic of circumstances.  Brilliant comeback by the Rocks, although there’s a dispute between who got that equaliser – Newby, Higgins and, erm, Max Cornhill.  What a game!

[audio:|titles=8 – Chelmsford 2-2 East Thurrock Full Time Summary]

Next up is the replay on Tuesday.  Can you possibly wait?  I can’t!

100th min – Wow!  Chelmsford come forward again, there’s a melee inside the area, the shot goes in from less than 10 yards, and it canons off the crossbar again.  It’s eventually cleared for a corner, which Jamie Riley collects.

98th min – GOAL! ….. Chelmsford City 2,  EAST THURROCK UNITED 2 Unbelievable Jeff!  A KRIS NEWBY free kick on the left evades everyone and goes into the net.

[audio:|titles=7 – Chelmsford 2-2 East Thurrock]

That’s the magic of the Cup!

95th min – Sam Collins replaces Ross Parmenter, and Marc Gorbell on for Kye Ruel, in a final throw of the dice.

93rd min – Both teams going for it at the moment, with nothing clear cut created.  The crowd are suddenly animated though.  Quelle surprise.  Bah.

88th min – GOAL! ….. CHELMSFORD CITY 2, East Thurrock United 1 It’s all my fault.  Ryan Sammons concedes a free kick on the left touchline, for which he is booked.  From that, KENNY CLARK heads home from about 8 yards.

[audio:|titles=6 – Chelmsford 2-1 East Thurrock]

But at least 10 minutes of injury time.  Blimey.

86th min – Well, the batteries on the camera have run out so there better not be any more action.  Unless the Rocks win.  As it happens, the last few minutes have seen the sides cancel each other out.

82nd min – Luck goes the Rocks way.  Sub Anthony Cook puts in a menacing centre on the right, Tom Stephen heads it awkwardly away for a corner, but the ref gives a goal kick.  Phew.  And chortle.

79th min – The delivery of set pieces and crosses wide from East Thurrock has been exemplary this afternoon and yet another from Kris Newby on the right causes all sorts of panic.  Kye Ruel and Reiss Gilbey try shots but are both blocked.

75th min – Covo wanders onto the pitch to see how Richard Wray is.  He then turns to his bench and signals that Jamie Riley has to come on.  Wray is still receiving treatment.  Fingers crossed he’s okay.

71st min – The home come forward again, and Max Cornhill’s shot is deflected for a corner on the right.   Richard Wray punches clear but clashes heads with an oncoming forward.  Ooh, I felt that from here.

67th min – Rob Edmonds comes on for Chelmsford and his effect is immediate, setting up Jamie Slabber on the edge of the area, but the shot is blocked.

[audio:|titles=5 – Chelmsford 1-1 East Thurrock Mid 2nd]

Anyone’s game here.

63rd min – And another half chance.  A high ball is well controlled byReiss Gilbey, and Sam Higgins times his run for the through ball to perfection.  His shot goes six inches wide of the near post.

60th min – Lovely run from Kye Ruel, breezes past a challenge, gets to the right hand edge of the area, but his shot is well wide.

58th min – Nice Sam Higgins run down the right, gets on the end of a decent Reiss Gilbey pass, but his centre into the area is cleared.  Meanwhile, Kris Newby has had a yellow card for another clumsy foul.  Oops.

53rd min– A terrible refereeing position almost cost the Rocks dearly.  A long, high ball reaches halfway inside the East Thurrock half.  Simon Peddie is clearly wrestled to the ground by Jamie Slabber, but amazingly is waved on by the ref.  His curling shot beats Richard Wray but smashes off the right hand edge of the crossbar.

49th min – Kris Newby, wide on the right, tries a lob from around 25 yards out.  It’s curving, dipping, and evades everyone, but ends about a foot over the bar.  Great start to this period from the Rocks.

47th min – Almost the perfect start for the Rocks to the second half.  Sam Higgins rounds the keeper after a fine ball from Kris Newby, his shot from the edge of the area is goalbound, but is cleared about a yard from the line

4.05pm – Kick Off! What, another one?


HALF TIME:  And a thoroughly entertaining first 45 minutes it’s been.  East Thurrock United have been the better side for long spells, but you know how the cup works.  Rough justice on the Rocks but that’s always the way.

[audio:|titles=4 – Chelmsford 1-1 East Thurrock Half Time Summary]

Anyway, off for a Bovril and another pannini.  Laters.


Injury Time – Ooh, a Chelmsford City shot from the edge of the area on the left flashes past the far post.

44th min – GOAL! ….. CHELMSFORD CITY 1,  East Thurrock United 1 It had to happen.  A team completely in control in the cup, and the other side equalise.  A corner on the right, a scramble, and DAVID BRIDGES shoots home from 10 yards.

[audio:|titles=3 – Chelmsford 1-1 East Thurrock]


43rd min – A couple of yellow cards for clumsy rather than malicious fouls.  Dave Rainsford for the hosts soon followed by Ross Parmenter for the visitors.

40th min – So close to a surreal equaliser.  Chelmsford cross from the left into the area, and Spencer Harrison, in a carbon copy of what he did last weekend, heads away for a corner, missing the near post by a cat’s whisker.  The corner’s easily dealt with.  Phew.

37th min – And again East Thurrock threaten.  Reiss Gilbey takes a corner on the right.  It misses Hakeem Araba’s head by millimetres and is desperately hacked away by the Clarets.  It’s really Amber alert for City at the moment.

34th min – Absolutely no doubt about it, East Thurrock United are bossing this game.  Closing down whenever they are without the ball, and causing problems when going forward.  The natives are getting restless.

30th min – And back come East Thurrock with Ross Parmenter.  His stinging drive is superbly parried away by Searle for another corner, and then another, which is eventually cleared.  Great stuff.

28th min – As play resumes, Reiss Gilbey gets to the edge of the home penalty area, which is deflected for a corner.  It causes problems momentarily but is cleared in the end.

26th min – A lengthy delay whilst ex Rocks and current Clarets playmaker Max Cornhill is treated for an injury.  He’s up and about eventually.

22nd min – The home side have tried to force the issue, with possession inside the Rocks half, but created nothing clear cut.  Meanwhile, a high ball almost runs kindly for Kye Ruel on the edge of the Chelmsford box.  You can feel the edginess around Melbourne Park.

17th min – The Rocks win another corner on the right.  There’s no match ball over there, for some reason, and some of the crowd bizarrely berate the ball boys.  I don’t think they like the way it’s going so far.

14th min – GOAL! ….. Chelmsford City 0,  EAST THURROCK UNITED 1 Oh yes!  A cross came in from the right after a throw in near the corner flag,  Spencer Harrison shoots from the edge of the area, it takes a wicked deflection off SAM HIGGINS and ends in up in the right hand corner of the net.

[audio:|titles=2 – Chelmsford 0-1 East Thurrock]

Liquid football!

10th min – That’s better.  Ryan Sammons hoists in a free kick on the right, and causes the Chelmsford keeper Stuart Searle to flap, and win a corner.  It’s easily dealt with, though, but better from the Rocks.

8th min – The Rocks have settled down a bit, with play more in the middle third.  Meanwhile, the media chappies around me discuss types of balls in the 70’s and 80’s.  I bet their wedding nights were fun.

4th min – The hosts win a corner on the left this time, a bit of panic in the six yard box, big appeal from the home fans for handball, and while that’s going on Bridges shoots a foot wide of the near post from about 10 yard.   Tidy start by Chelmsford.

3rd min – Early corner for Chelmsford on the right.  Nicely delivered, it flashes past the far post.  And thankfully everyone else.

3.02pm – KICK OFF! Oh yes!


2.58pm – The team come out to loud cheers and applause, Chelmsford in Claret, the Rocks in Amber.  It’s almost like a Bradford City tribute.

2.55pm – There looks to be a good crowd in.  The skies are overcast but, somehow, bright at the same time.  Not a drop of wind.  Apart from maybe me after my vegetarian sausage pannini.  Perfect football conditions.  There’s a bit of a buzz, the slightest hint of a crackle of atmosphere.  This is the FA Cup.  Oh yes.

2.50pm – I know I’m supposed to be unbiased, with looking at things from our area’s team’s point of view, but also giving balance and credit to their opponents.  But today, well, it has to be said.  Come on you Rocks.  Please win.

2.45pm – Elsewhere, Brentwood Town play host to Ryman One North new boys Witham Town.  Southend United and Dagenham & Redbridge have long away trips.  And in the FA Cup, two teams recently covered live, South Park and Met Police, face each other over at St. Georges.  Could another giant be killed there?  I dunno, really.

2.40pm – It’s pretty cramped in the press box.  14 peeps fighting over just 6 seats.  But guess who had his name written on his seat for him.  Sound people, Chelmsford City, you know.  Behind me is the inimitable voices and scribblings of assorted local and national media.  Bubbling up nicely, with the Rocks side all on the pitch warming up.

2.35pm – Team News: The Rocks go for glory with:

1.  Richard Wray

2.  Ryan Sammons

3.  Tom Stephen

4.  Simon Peddie

5.  Spencer Harrison

6.  Ross Parmenter

7.  Kris Newby

8.  Reiss Gilbey  (c)

9.  Sam Higgins

10.  Hakeem Araba

11.  Kye Ruel


12.  Sam Collins

14.  Matt Hall

15.  Joe Keith

16.  Marc Gorball

17.  Jamie Riley

As ever with Covo’s side, continuity is the key.  Spencer Harrison slots straight in for the injured Steve Sheehan.  Best of luck, Steve, for a full and speedy recovery.  Ever if your cast looks like blue Scotch tape.

2.30pm – A very, very good afternoon from Melbourne Park, home of Conference South side and renowned name in non-league football, Chelmsford City.

Once again, East Thurrock United have it all to do if they are to make it to the first round and into the hat with the big boys from the Football League.   Lightning, though, could strike twice.

The Rocks stunned Eastbourne Borough last year to set up their epic match at Rookery Hill in front of the nation’s tv screens.  Covo’s boys, despite the pounding his reserves took in the Essex Cup at Aveley on Monday, are in good shape, and playing well.  They’re a classy side and will, of course, be well up for it.

For Chelmsford City playmaker Max Cornhill, this match is probably the one he wanted to avoid.  An integral part of the East Thurrock’s title winning team two seasons ago, he’s now charged with dumping out the side he took to his heart.  The Clarets, though, are decent from back to front, with or without Max.  They should win.

Should, though, doesn’t mean will, as Eastbourne found to their cost.  This could be about who wants it the most.  Oh, my, this is the FA Cup in it’s purest form.  One step away from glory.  One mistake and you’re out.  How could you not want to stay tuned to this??!!

[audio:|titles=1 – Chelmsford v East Thurrock FA Cup Preview]

As ever, keep refreshing this page every few minutes, and the drama, the passion, the thrill of the FA Cup will be yours.  I can hardly wait.




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Cups and Kicks – The Weekend Preview

To find out where your team are playing, and where the live game will be, the weekend preview is here.

[audio:|titles=Weekend Preview 20-21 Oct]
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Victory In The Vase, Draw With The Law – The Weekend Review

With news on a dramatic Non League Day, and notable wins in rugby and ladies football, here’s the weekend review.

[audio:|titles=Weekend Review 13-14 Oct 2012]
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Metropolitan Police v East Thurrock United – LIVE

Metropolitan Police  2-2  East Thurrock United

Aveley  3-0  Brentwood Town

Billericay Town 3-1  Dorchester Town

Chesterfield  1-2  Dagenham & Redbridge

Rotherham United  0-3  Southend United


FULL TIME: And after 11 minutes of injury time, five of which came from nowhere, the curtain comes down on a thrilling finish to a superb game.  The Rocks seemed to have had it in the bag, but credit to the Met, they came back superbly and just about deserved their reward.

[audio:|titles=9 – Met Police 2-2 East Thurrock Full Time Summary]

Pics of today’s match can be found here …..

Best wishes, too, to Steve Sheehan, as it’s now emerged he has broken his fibula.  Class player, good lad.

Next up will be the Rocks FA Cup clash at Chelmsford City in a week’s time.  Until then, enjoy your football.  We certainly have today.


10th min of injury time:  And what a save by Richard Wray, a point blank header from a free kick.  Blimey O’Reilly.

Injury time: Some tackles flying on.  This could be nasty.  Chortle.

89th min – GOAL! ….. MET POLICE 2,  East Thurrock United 2 Justice.  Play goes on, the ball goes back inside the Rocks area, and sub STAFFORDE PALMER shoots home

[audio:|titles=8 – Met Police 2-2 East Thurrock]

Kye Ruel goes off for Sam Collins too.

88th min – A moment of real drama.  A scramble in the area from a corner goes to Jay Lovatt on the edge of the six yard box, who shoots home an equaliser for the hosts.  Except the lino somehow says that it touched an offside player on its way in.  Uproar!

85th min – GOAL! ….. MET POLICE 1,  East Thurrock United 2 Ooh, a grandstand finish here.  A cracking shot is saved superbly by Richard Wray – but only into the path of JONTY SMITH, who rams it home from 15 yards.

[audio:|titles=7 – Met Police 1-2 East Thurrock]

Quality Polis!

81st min – A brown trouser moment.  A nice ball to the right outpaces Tom Stephen, who underestimated its speed slightly, and the resultant first time cross inside the area is missed by oncoming Met forwards by about a foot.  Phew.

78th min – Oh, so close for the Rocks.  Great ball from Reiss Gilbey finds Sam Higgins clear on the left bye-line.  He gets the centre in and Kye Ruel was about two millimetres from connecting inside the six yard box.  Excellent stuff.

75th min – East Thurrock seem to be doing their best to make it interesting, conceding a number of corners and free kicks.  All comfortably dealt with but ooh, we don’t that.

68th min – The Rocks respond in kind.  A corner on the right, and Key Ruel’s shot at a tight angle goes within a hair’s breadth of finishing the game once and for all.

[audio:|titles=6 – Met Police 0-2 East Thurrock Mid 2nd]

Next goal, as ever, is crucial.

64th min – Blimey, that was close.  A wicked low centre on the right from the Met and Spencer Harrison heads clear for a corner, missing the goal by about a foot.  Phew.  Then from that, Richard Wray is forced into a superb reflex save from a bullet header inside the six yard box.  Quality polis there.

62nd min – Nice build-up down the left hand side from Reiss Gilbey and Kye Ruel results in the latter’s centre being controlled inside the area by Kris Newby.  With his hand, though.  Bah.

58th min – Ooh, a late clumsy challenge from Met Police’s Jay Lovatt on Ryan Sammons results in a yellow card.  Some of the 122 crowd groan but he gave the ref no choice.

57th min – Play resumes, with the Rocks on the attack, and on the right hand edge of the area, a superb shot from Kye Ruel is superbly parried away.  Great stuff.

55th min – Play held up whilst Steve Sheehan has sadly been stretchered off.  It looks innocuous, overstretching to get to the ball, but he looked in agony, the poor lad.  Fingers crossed he’s okay.  Spencer Harrison has come on to deputise.

50th min – Lots of running, lots of free kicks, and a Simon Peddie expletive that was heard in Penzance.  That’s what it’s been so far this half.

4.02pm – Kick Off! The Rocks fight the law, can the Rocks win?


HALF TIME: And an excellent 45 minutes of football from both sides.  The Rocks certainly deserve to be ahead, but perhaps not by two goals.  Hakeem Araba and Sam Higgins have been on song, and caused the home defence all kind of problems throughout.  Quality Rocks.

[audio:|titles=5 – Met Police 0-2 East Thurrock Half Time Summary]

Right, off for a Bovril and a speeding ticket.  Laters.


45th min – Much better free kick from the Met, causes problems inside the area, before being put out for a corner on the Rocks left.  That in turns flashes across the face of goal, with everyone beaten.  Phew, that was close.

41st min – Ooh, and that’s a bad miss.  Yet again, Hakeem gets to ball inside the area, he chests it to Kye Ruel, who hits it first time from 15 yards out, a yard wide of the left hand post.  Could’ve been three there.

38th min – Rain, sun, clouds, it’s all here.  The home side are trying to get a foothold in the game but have created nothing in the past 10 minutes or so.  Meanwhile, during lulls in play, there’s a game on a neighbouring pitch.  The Yellows are beating the Reds.  But it’s certainly the Black & White Rocks defeating the Blue Met here.

33rd min – The ref has a quiet word with Hakeem after a bit of handbags at a throw in.  A few seconds later a host player is given a similar word.  The Met coach shouts at the linesman to help the ref out because …. because, well, he has a low opinion of his abilities today.  Chortle.

28th min – It’s those crosses into the box that seem to be causing problems.  The Met defence simply can’t handle Hakeem Araba’s strength or Sam Higgins pace.  Team mates are moaning at each other and their manager has shouted at them to get off the pitch if they don’t fancy it.  Chortle.

23rd min – GOAL! ….. Met Police 0,  EAST THURROCK UNITED 2 From a throw in on the right, Kris Newby crosses right by the touchline, and meets the head of HAKEEM ARABA perfectly on the edge of the six yard box, who bullets it home.

[audio:|titles=4 – Met Police 0-2 East Thurrock]


18th min – Back come the Met, though, and a shot on the edge of the area goes about three inches over the bar.  A corker of a game so far.

16th min – Ooh, that should have been 2-0.  Great through ball down the middle from Reiss Gilbey releases Sam Higgins.  The keeper comes out to the edge of the area, Sam slots in past him, but it goes agonisingly inches past the far post.  Great football though

13th min – GOAL! ….. Met Police 0,  EAST THURROCK UNITED 1 Heavy pressure on results in a throw in on the left.  From the cross, SAM HIGGINS connects inside the six yard box for an easy tap in.

[audio:|titles=3 – Met Police 0-1 East Thurrock]

Quality Rocks!

11th min – End to end.  The Met win a free kick in a dangerous area, about 25 yards out, but Ty Smith wastes it and it goes harmlessly out.  Then at the other end, Hakeem Araba just fails to get on the end of a Kris Newby centre on the right.  Good stuff from both sides so far.

6th min – And as soon as I say that, the heavens open, and the Rocks miss a great chance.  Superb turn and pass from Hakeem Araba releases Kye Ruel on the left hand edge of the penalty area.  Completely unmarked, and with plenty of time, he hits it quickly and well wide.

5th min – Just the usual hurly burly start with nothing much created.  Pretty big dark clouds overhead.  I mean they’re fairly large, not that they’re nice to look at.  But you probably knew that.

3.01pm – KICK OFF! Oh yes!


2.58pm – The teams come out to the dulcet tones of The Clash’s version of “I Fought The Law And The Law Won.”  We’ll see about that matey.  I saw what the Met Police were like in The Young Ones.  We’ll see if they’re Quality Polis or not.

2.55pm – Sadly, all is already lost for Brentwood Town.  A 1pm kick-off at Aveley and a 3-0 gubbing.  All the goals in the first half, including an own goal for Ryan Doyle.  Bah.

2.50pm – Team News The Rocks go with:

1.  Richard Wray

2.  Ryan Sammons

3.  Tom Stephen

4.  Simon Peddie

5.  Steve Sheehan

6.  Ross Parmenter

7.  Kris Newby

8.  Reiss Gilbey (c)

9.  Sam Higgins

10.  Hakeem Araba

11.  Kye Ruel


12.  Sam Collins

14.  Marc Gorbell

15.  Matt Hall

16.  Spencer Harrison

17.  Jamie Riley

2.45pm – It’s a lovely ground here, nice people too.  Just like every football club should be.  As for what football should, and actually how it is, we wandered over to England v San Marino last night.  This is our take on it.

[audio:|titles=2 – England v San Marino Analysis]

Not exactly liquid football but fun nonetheless.

2.40pm – ‘Ello ‘ello ‘ello.  A very warm and cliched welcome to Imber Court, home of Met Police, as East Thurrock United attempt to continue their great run.

Covo’s boys are on song at the moment.  Six wins on the trot, and last time out came from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at Enfield Town.  Confidence is sky high in the ranks of the Rocks.

Their opponents today, are good, very good.  Unbeaten at home, and have defied all expectations since their promotion last year. This could well be a tough one.

Elsewhere, Billericay Town have to get back on track sharpish, as they may well have a further three points wiped out if Truro City go to well, which would leave them in effect bottom of the Conference South.

All our other sides, bar Brentwood Town who already seem to have lost, have testing away trips but they are all more than capable of earning points.   Which would be jolly spiffing.

[audio:|titles=1 – Met Police v East Thurrock Preview]

As ever, keep refreshing the page every few minutes, and the arresting experience of Met Police away will be yours.


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Round And Oval, Points And Vases – The Weekend Preview

For news on where to go to see your local team on Non League Day, and who’s going where for what Vase, the weekend preview is here.

[audio:|titles=Weekend Preview 13-14 Oct 2012]
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Midweek Football LIVE ( ish… )

Southend United 2-0 Dagenham & Redbridge

Billericay Town 2-4 Cambridge City

Enfield Town  2-3 East Thurrock United

Potters Bar Town  3-0  Brentwood Town


10pm – So to sum up, disaster for ‘Ricay and Brentwood. Triumph for Southend and East Thurrock. Pah. Twin imposters, they are.

[audio:|titles=Midweek Summary Tue 9 Oct 2012]

Next up will be the Rocks trip to the Met Police on Saturday. Until then, enjoy your football. And keep ’em peeled.


9.35pm – Full time and East Thurrock grab a sensational winner!  Get in there!

9.30pm – Joy at last! A dramatic Rocks equaliser and Billericay pull one back. Hang on a sec …

9.25pm – Almost a flat battery but Sam Higgins reduces the arrears by half at Enfield Town to give East Thurrock United some hope. All very comfortable for Sarfend here now.

9.12pm – Game over at New Lodge. Embarrassment looms for `Ricay.

9.10pm – It’s all gone Freddie Starr. All of our sides bar Southend (who are against another of ours anyway) are now two goals down. A moment of real comedy at Roots Hall as a terrible mix up between the Daggers defender and keeper results is Assombachumbawumba doubling the lead.

9.00pm – Not going well at all. Billericay are staring humiliation in the face and the Rocks fall two behind. Someone pull the floodlights please.

8.50pm – Back underway. But Brentwood Town have to do it all with just 9 players. Another red card before the break. At this rate they’ll have less players than Kettering.


8.35pm – Half time everywhere and work to do for all of our sides. I’m off for a Bovril and some gloves.

8.25pm – A flurry of action at New Lodge.  Billericay Town take the lead against their Southern League opponents but are pegged back within seconds.  Brentwood Town, meanwhile, go two behind and have a player sent off.  Blimey.

8.10pm – Not a good night for our sides so far. Doubly difficult to update with frozen pinkies too. But Ryan Creswell has given Southend a 17th minute lead. Did I see it? Pah. Trying to update this. Ah well.

7.55pm – Well, that’s not so good, is it.  Early goals conceded by both Brentwood Town and East Thurrock United.  Very lively here, though, with both the Shrimpers and Daggers having shots cleared off the line.

7.42pm – The teams come out at Roots Hall to a small but enthusiastic crowd.

7.30pm – A very good evening from Roots Hall.  Once again, something different.  Rather than at one of our local 5non-league teams, I’m at the Johnstones Paint Trophy clash between our two Football League sides.

As ever, Southend United are in turmoil off the pitch, but are holding it together on it, just three points from a play-off spot, and have perhaps the best manager outside the top two divisions in Paul Sturrock.

The Daggers are pretty much settled, on and off the pitch, and again they have a fine manager in John Still.  Resources are scarce and they have certainly over-achieved the past few years, as their Wembley victory a couple of years ago testifies.

It’s a cup night, too, so there’s every chance of a bit of drama, and maybe even penalties, which the visitors won last time that happened between them.  This could be fun.

Elsewhere, Billericay Town have a crucial FA Cup replay at New Lodge.  Defeat Cambridge City, and the New Forest awaits, in the form of AFC Totton, just one match from the Football League big boys.  Ooh, Billericay v Southend or Dagenham, how good would that be?  First of all, though, they have to win tonight.

There’s also a full Ryman League programme, with East Thurrock United and Brentwood Town both in action, having had okay-ish starts to their league campaign, which has been interrupted greatly by their cup runs.  They have games in hand but a few more points now will come in nicely.

I can’t promise I’ll be able to update every few minutes, but I will at least let you know how the teams are getting on.  The station’s sports twitter feed, @PhoenixFMSport , will also keep you informed.




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FA Cup Draw: Spicy Local Derby Heats Up The Road To Wembley

The draw was made earlier today for the 4th qualifying round of the FA Cup.  Win this one and you’re in with the big boys from the Football League.

East Thurrock United, the one team in our area definitely through, have a plum draw, away to Conference South outfit Chelmsford City.  The Rocks will fancy their chances, though, having disposed of  similar quality opposition the same time last year.

Billericay Town have been given a tough one.  Should they overcome Cambridge City at New Lodge in tomorrow evening’s replay, they have to travel to the New Forest and a meeting with Southern Premier side AFC Totton.

As for Brentwood Town‘s conquerors, South Park, they’ve been given a real chance to progress, drawn at home to either Dereham Town or Met Police.

These ties are scheduled to be played on Saturday 20th October and you can take as read that there will be live coverage here of one of these games!

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Down And Out, Or Up And Through – The Weekend Review

For details on a magnificent win for the fairer sex, humiliation at South Park, and how all our other sides got on, the weekend review is here.

[audio:|titles=Weekend Sports Review 6-7 Oct]
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FA Cup LIVE: South Park v Brentwood Town

South Park 3-1  Brentwood Town

Cambridge City  1-1  Billericay Town

East Thurrock United 3-0  Maidstone United

Dagenham & Redbridge 4-3  Bradford City

Southend United 2-2  Barnet


FULL TIME: And we’ve had yet another slice of that old Cup magic.  Sadly, though, Brentwood are the fall guys.  Up against it from the 74th second, they simply couldn’t cope with South Park’s pace, commitment, and pass-and-move type stuff.  Long before the end Wood had resorted to punts and set pieces and bodies in the box.

[audio:|titles=9 – South Park 3-1 Brentwood Town Full Time Summary]

Not to worry, there’s still the Trophy, and it’s been another great FA Cup day.  Next up will be East Thurrock United’s trip to the Met Police next weekend, although there will be a full midweek round-up too.  Until then, enjoy the week, and your football.


89th min – As a South Park shot drifts over the bar at the far end, a father calls for his son.  They’re leaving early from their side’s potentially momentous afternoon because “We have to get Oliver to the party for 5.”  The magic of the Cup.

86th min – I would say the crowd are drifting away, but they’ve been drifting around the ground all afternoon.  Brentwood heads are down and there’s the familiar sound of players shouting at each other.  This won’t end well.

81st min – And, of course, the internet drops completely for a while too!  One of those days.  Still Brentwood are trying to come forward and chase the game, mainly at set pieces.

[audio:|titles=8 – South Park 3-1 Brentwood Town 75+ Mins]

It looks a forlorn task though.

67th min – Elsewhere in the Cup, East Thurrock United seem to be faring okay, and Billericay Town have come from behind to draw level, although they have since missed a penalty.  But Southend?  What’s going on there?

Meanwhile, on the pitch, sub Sherwin Stanley heads centimetres wide of the left hand post after a nice cross to the right hand edge of the six yard box.

62nd min – From both teams cancelling each other out, it’s now looking like both teams are dangerous and could score at any time.  It’s probably what Brentwood need, a game like that.

Although, having said ohhh sh …. phew, a shot from 20 yards whacks against the Brentwood crossbar and clear.

54th min – GOAL! ….. SOUTH PARK 3,  Brentwood Town 1  And that’s the way to respond.  A corner on the left, and JACK HIGGINS heads home from six yards.

[audio:|titles=7 – South Park 3-1 Brentwood Town]

I guess they’ll be writing a book about him now.

48th min – GOAL! ….. South Park 2,  BRENTWOOD TOWN 1 Wow, that’s how to get back into it.  A throw in on the left was allowed to float inside the box and from six yards, ALEX READ stooped and nodded home.

[audio:|titles=6 – South Park 2-1 Brentwood Town]

Game on!

4.04pm – Kick Off!  45 minutes to stop a Cup upset.


HALF TIME:  What can you say?  For 43 of the 45 minutes, Brentwood were easily matching South Park, perhaps having slightly the better of it.  In the 2nd and 45th minutes, though, South Park had their only real chances and banged them away.  The Blues are in big bother.

[audio:|titles=5 – South Park 2-0 Brentwood Town Half Time Summary]

Right, I’m off for a Bovril and will try to find Officer Barbrady to stop the game.  Laters.  And carry on.


45th min – GOAL! ….. SOUTH PARK 2,  Brentwood Town 0 Double disaster.  On the stroke of half time, a nice through ball finds the onrushing CHRIS SMITH, who shoots comfortably and low home into the left hand corner of the net from 15 yards.

[audio:|titles=4 – South Park 2-0 Brentwood Town HT]

Big trouble here.

42nd min – Would love to bring you exciting excitement but the teams are simply cancelling each other out, with the result of few mistakes but fewer chances.

37th min – Another host shot whistles across the face of goal, albeit without any real danger.  Meanwhile there’s been a succession of women walking their dogs and blokes on the phone watching even less of the game than me.

With the Priory rehab clinic next door, I’m convinced I haven’t gone to an FA Cup tie but walked into an edition of  Emmerdale or something.

29th min – That’s much more like it.  A centre from the left into the area and Daryl Robson goes past his man.  His shot evades the far post by centimetres with the keeper well beaten.  A lot better.

25th min – Very evenly balanced, still, but without any creation from either side.  My attempts to take pics are being stymied somewhat by not just the people standing in front, but also others wandering around like a tit in a trance and then randomly standing about.

[audio:|titles=3 – South Park 1-0 Brentwood Mid 1st Half]

The FA Cup in all it’s glory, this is.  I love it.

19th min – Wow, that was nearly double trouble for ‘Wood.  Nice passing cut through the middle cut the defence to bits, Kieran Lavery broke free, but his shot from 18 yards was superbly parried away by Elliott Justham.  Phew.

15th min – Have to say, since the goal, the only real action has been a poorly lady being attended to behind the goal by first aid peeps.  I promise I didn’t chuck anything at her to get out of my way, too.  On the pitch, a South Park free kick results in a shot not so much over the bar as over the ionosphere.

10th  min– Brentwood have settled down a little and gone forward, without creating anything, other than a bit of handbags after the ball had gone for a throw to them on the left.

5th min – The away side are clearly shocked by a shell and keeper Elliott Justham was almost caught out by a shortish backpass.  Jittery stuff from the Blues.

74 seconds – GOAL! ….. SOUTH PARK 1,  Brentwood Town 0 Disaster for ‘Wood.  The hosts first attack, and inside the area there’s an appeal for handball.  While everyone stops, KIERAN LAVERY doesn’t, he gets up form the floor and his low shot goes into the far corner of the net.

[audio:|titles=2 – South Park 1-0 Brentwood]

What a start!

3.01pm – KICK OFF! Oh yes.


2.59pm – There may not be a big crowd but they’ve decided to congregate right in front of me.  I may not see too much of this.  No change there, then.

2.58pm – The teams come out to the sound of the birds and the planes in the sky above with the odd clap or two.  South Park are all in red.  Brentwood Town in their usual light blue shirts and socks with white shorts

2.50pm – Not a big crowd by any stretch of the imagination.  It has yet to reach three figures, though I’m sure it’ll comfortably reach into that by kick-off time.

It makes it all the more endearing to me.  A club of this size, so close to, say, a day out at Sheffield United.  We can all dream, can’t we.  Though my first choice of dream usually involves Kylie.

2.45pm – Team News  Brentwood Town go with:

1  – Elliott Justham  2  – Ryan Doyle  3  – Abs Seymour  4  – Martyn Stokes  5  – Darren Blewitt (c) 6  – Danny Dafter  7  – Peggy Lokando 8  – Daryl Robson  9  – Alex Read  10 – Neil Cousins  11 – Robbie Rees

Subs:  12 – Sherwin Stanley  14 – Connor Witherspoon  15 – Steve Cross  16 – Lee Blackburn  17 – Andy Thompson  18 – Mark Hayles


2.40pm – I do like St. George’s.  Nice, tidy little stands behind one of the goals and a cracking clubhouse.  All the club officials have gone out of their way to make sure every visitor is made to feel welcome.  This club are wasted with football.  Far too nice.

2.35pm – Elsewhere in the FA Cup, Billericay have a potential banana skin awaiting them in the form of Southern League Cambridge City.  And East Thurrock United certainly won’t have it easy at Rookery Hill where free-scoring and well supported Maidstone United visit.

For today, at least, our sides are in the unaccustomed role of giants trying to avoid being killed off.  I don’t like that.  Not one bit.  But that’s the magic of the cup, innit?  I think.  Anyway …..

2.30pm – A very warm welcome to Whitehall Lane, home of Combined Counties League pacesetters South Park, and for this afternoon at least, the very heart of the greatest domestic cup competition on the planet.

On paper, it’s a no-contest.  Brentwood Town are a division higher, and are on a fine run of form, as Tuesday’s 5-0 humiliation of Harlow Town will testify.

Football’s not played on paper, though, it’s played on grass.  And this Reigate based club have waited a long time for a day like this.  Win this, and they are just one step from a plum tie against a Football league side, and have the tantalising possibility of drawing a fallen giant from the Conference in the next round.

Forget the cartoon name, South Park are no mugs, and will be going all out for glory.    Whitehall Lane is abuzz with anticipation.  This could be one sensational afternoon.

[audio:|titles=1 – South Park v Brentwood Town Preview]

You know the routine by now.  Keep refreshing every few minutes, and the real drama, romance, and thrill of a good, old-fashioned, FA Cup tie will be coming your way.  How could you dare go anywhere else today?



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Humble Folk Without Temptation – The Weekend Preview

For details on one cup draw, the road to Wembley in another, and all the other weekend sport here’s this week’s preview.

[audio:|titles=Weekend Preview 6-7 Oct 2012]
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Tuesday Night Football LIVE

Great Wakering Rovers 5-2  Halsted Town

Harlow Town  0-5  Brentwood Town

Port Vale  1-1  Dagenham & Redbridge

Southend United 0-1  Burton Albion


FULL TIME: And what a suprisingly good, open and entertaining 90 minutes it has been.  The score is rough justice on Halsted Town, who were well in this right up until the past few minutes.  Credit to Rovers, though, they really upped their standards in the second half.  A bit of the Trenks hair dryer treatment did their stuff.

Elsewhere, a great win for Brentwood Town and a very good draw for Dagenham.  With Basildon United also beating Stansted 3-1, ooh, it’s been a good night!

[audio:|titles=7 – Full TIme Summary]

Next up is FA Cup day this Saturday.  A real day of romance as Brentwood Town go to South Park, where hopefully they will have no woes to leave behind.  Until then, enjoy the week, and your football.


9.30pm – Ooh, these wooden seats play havoc with the base of your spine.  Been well worth it, though, to summarise a very entertaining game, and to let you know that Brentwood Town are now 3 up.  Oh yes!

9.25pm – GOALS! ….. GREAT WAKERING ROVERS 5,  Halsted Town 2 Could that be the killer.  A fine JAY NASH run and shot from the edge of the area, and then whilst writing this, I heard a roar, and they were walking back to the centre circle!

[audio:|titles=6 – Rovers 5-2 Halsted]

Liquid football!

9.20pm – Canvey are now 1-1 at Wroxham.  There will be extra time if it’s level at 90 minutes there, unlike here.  And Basildon United go 3-1 up.  Huzzah!

9.15pm – It’s stopped raining as well.  Just the biting wind left, but I’ll soon run out of it.  In the FA Trophy, Grays have been pegged back a goal, leading just 2-1 now.  In that lesser compeition, Man U are leading Inbetweencluj 2-1.

9.10pm – GOALS! ….. GREAT WAKERING ROVERS 3,  HALSTED TOWN 2 Good grief, this is turning into a minor classic!  Rovers seem to have made the game safe with a Luca Franklin penalty, but Halsted score more or less from their kick–off.  And Brentwood Town double their lead too.

[audio:|titles=5 – Rovers 3-2 Halsted]

It’s all happening!

9.05pm – People can be so stupid.  There’s been a series of reckless challenges from both sides, and lots of handbags.  The ref rightly books players from both teams.  And what does the bloke in front of me say?  It’s all the ref’s fault for giving silly decisions.  What a cretin.

Elsewhere, Man U have taken the lead, and in League Two still goalless in the Southend and Dagenham games.

9.00pm – GOAL! ….. GREAT WAKERING ROVERS 2,  Halsted Town 1 Blimey.  High cross on the right, and LEWIS SPARROW volleys home at the far post.

[audio:|titles=4 – Rovers 2-1 Halsted]

Game of two halves.  Of 45 minutes each, too.

8.50pm – GOAL! ….. GREAT WAKERING ROVERS 1,  Halsted Town 1 I’m guessing Rovers had a bit of the hair dryer treatment.  They’ve come out blazing, forced a corner, and played in the Halsted half until their keeper Matt Walker saved a shot.  It went straight to sub LUCA FRANKLIN, though, and he rammed it home from 8 yards.

[audio:|titles=3 – Rovers 1-1 Halsted]

Game on!

8.47pm – KICK OFF! Again.  And in some FA Trophy replays, Canvey are winning 1-0 at Wroxham, and Grays Athletic are 2 up at Ashford Town.  The Middlesex one.  If Middlesex esists.


8.32pm – HALF TIME: And a richly deserved lead for the Eastern Counties underdogs.  It’s a nice town, too, even if their own ground is at the back of an industrial estate and a nightmare to get to, so I’m pleased for them.  I like it there.

[audio:|titles=2- Tuesday Night Half Time Summary]

Elsehwere, Basildon United have taken a 2-1 lead against Stansted, and Brentwood Town have stolen a lead at Harlow, so I’m off for a Bovril and a little rejoice.  Laters.


8.30pm – Confirmation that DAN SAKAL was the man, in the 43rd minute.  He scored as well.

8.27pm – GOAL! ….. Great Wakering Rovers 0,  HALSTED TOWN 1 And on the balance of play deserved, a high cross in from the left, a header at the far post, and there you have it, Town in front.  No conformation of the scorer yet.  Other than he played for the team in black and white halves.

8.25pm – Been told faithfully that at Barrows Farm it’s 0-0 between Harlow Town and Brentwood Town after 35 minutes.  Man U have equalised, so obviously like a bit of Cluj now (guffaw) and Chelsea have taken the lead against a type of Scandinavian cheese.

8.20pm – Jolly good fun where my lad is at, Roots Hall.  Southend United are down to 10 men, Spicer the man heading for an early bath.  As is the ref himself, who goes off injured.  No chortling at the back there.  Snigger.  Rovers are coming back into it here, though.  Forced a corner on the right and from that there was a frantic scramble before it was cleared.

8.15pm – Man U obviously don’t like a bit of Cluj, as they’ve fallen behind.  No bias.  Chortle.  Basildon United have now equalised against Stansted.  No bias.  Hurrah!  In front of me, it’s definitely the Eastern Counties visitors who are having the better of it.  Louis Godwin Green was forced to palm a shot over the bar a few minutes ago.

8.10pm – Halsted Town threaten the Nobby’s End goal (which is not a euphemism) again.  A swerving free kick on the left beats everyone, included the far post though, and goes about two feet wide.  The natives aren’t exactly restless but they’re not enjoying themselves either,

8.05pm – I see that Manchester United are playing Cluj.  It must be the first time they’ve played against a word invented by The Inbetweeners.  Closer to home, Stansted have taken the lead at Basildon United in another ESC match.  Bah.  Meanwhile, here at Burroughs Park, Halsted break quickly again, and it’s only the lino’s flag up that saves a golden chance being created.

8.00pm – Ooh, livened up a bit here now.  First of all, Rovers break on the left, a cross goes in, and Jay Nash’s header is well saved.  Halsted then counter attack, and Ellis Carter seems a certain scorer, chipping the host keeper, only for Louis Godwin Green to run back and catch it just before it bounces over the line.  No news elsewhere yet though.

7.55pm – Really not too much going on here.  Lots of shouting and swearing.  Both sides have had one long shot that went comfortably wide.  One Halsted free kick caused a momentary panic but that’s it.  Elsewhere, blimey, Celtic winning away in Moscow.  Is it 1st April?

7.45pm – Kick Off!  Oh yes!


7.43pm – The teams come out to a small, soggy crowd in windy, rainy conditions.  Rovers in green and white stripes, Halsted in black and white halves.  Ooh, the glamour.

7.40pm – As for tonight’s fare in front of me, the Essex Senior Cup is a straight knockout, decided on the night.  If it’s level after 90 minutes, it goes to penalties, with no extra time.  Great Wakering Rovers are currently near the top of  the Essex Senior League after an unexpectedly tough start.  Halsted Town, however, are floundering in the Eastern Counties League, First Division.  It could turn out to be a classic but I have my doubts.

7.30pm – Elsewhere, the draw was made for the next round of the FA Trophy.  It’s thrown up a couple of good ‘uns.  Brentwood Town have been rewarded for their fine win at Walton & Hersham with a winnable home tie against Ryman Premier outfit Lewes.  And, in perhaps the tie of the round, it’s going to be East Thurrock United v Thurrock at Rookery Hill.  That’s a cracker!

7.20pm – By the way, apologies for the lack of live coverage from Billericay Town‘s game at Boreham Wood last night.  In short, despite being informed I’d be travelling to Meadow Park some time ago, the host club told me just a few hours before kick off it was “company policy” (their words, not mine) not to allow radio coverage for visiting clubs.  Ah well, you’ve either got it or you haven’t.  Class.

7.10pm – A very good evening from the out of the ordinary climes of Burroughs Park, home of Great Wakering Rovers.  It’s Essex Senior Cup night and Halsted are in town.

A bit of a change of pace.  Rovers aren’t in the Phoenix FM area but they are my local side, who I have a season ticket for, despite rarely getting to a game.   Times are hard and they need every ounce of support they can muster.

Brentwood Town are also in action tonight, revisiting a Harlow Town side they swept aside in the FA Trophy a fortnight ago.  That game had the live treatment, but after taking over three hours each way getting to and from it via public transport, it’s time I simply didn’t have tonight.

Our local league 2 sides are also displaying their many talents this evening, and so you will be kept fully up to date with these games, as well as letting you know how things are going here.  Without the minute by minute summaries, this could be a fun night.  For me, leastways.

[audio:|titles=Tuesday Night Preview]

As ever, keep refreshing the page every few minutes, and all the drama and romance of Wakering on a cold and wet Tuesday night will be yours.  How can you possibly resist?




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FA Trophy: East Thurrock United v Hastings United – LIVE

East Thurrock United 4-0  Hastings United

Billericay Town 1-3  Basingstoke Town

Walton & Hersham  1-2  Brentwood Town

Dagenham & Redbridge 3-0  Wycombe Wanderers

Plymouth Argyle  1-1  Southend United


FULL TIME:  And the ref blows time on a very, and unexpectedly, easy afternoon for the Rocks.  They were in complete command from the off, and once the first goal went in, were never in any danger.  Wembley Way doesn’t exactly beckon, but that junction was easy enough to drive past.

[audio:|titles=7 – East Thurrock 4-0 Hastings FT Summary]

Photos of today’s game can be found on the link below.

What, with the pics, and the twitter, and the updates here, and the radio reports, it gives me about 3 minutes to watch the game, but hey, at least you get a feel of the day overall rather than focusing too much on the game itself.  That’s my excuse, anyway.

Next up will be Monday’s Conference South clash between Boreham Wood and Billericay Town.  Until then, enjoy the weekend.  Laters.


90th min + 1 – Dee Okojie tries another shot from the edge of the area.  It’s on target but has the speed of an asthmatic snail.  Easily dealt with.

88th min – Danny Ellis goes close to getting a consolation for Hastings, his near post header from a corner on the left going  just wide.  And over.  But still.

85th min – Hastings sub Danny Ellis and Josh Jibrandey both have shots deflected for corners.  Dee Okojie tries a third, but it ends up bouncing across the Manorway.

82nd min – Ryan Sammons goes off and on comes Spencer Harrison.

80th min – A somewhat scrappy home move, initiated by Reiss Gilbey and punctuated by defensive errors, ends with his shot inside the area being deflected and eventually cleared after Sam Higgins tried to pounce on the rebound.

75th min – Kye Ruel has gone off, to generous applause from the 143 crowd, and been replaced by Matt Hall.  Hastings are coming forward, to their credit, forcing a few corners, and Covo is not a happy bunny.  Good stuff.

68th min – GOAL! ….. EAST THURROCK UNITED 4,  Hastings United 0 And from that corner, Wray quickly gets the ball out to SAM HIGGINS.  He runs unchallenged to the edge of the Hastings box and slams the ball home.

[audio:|titles=6 – East Thurrock 4-0 Hastings]


67th min – I would update more frequently but there’s nothing much going on.  The Rocks are comfortable and the visitors are toothless in attack.  Until a corner on the right isn’t cleared.  But Jono Richardson shoots straight into Richard Wray’s hands.

59th min – GOAL! ….. EAST THURROCK UNITED 3,  Hastings United 0 And I think the assist should really go to the Hastings player who took their corner.  It goes straight into Richard Wray’s hands, he quickly puts it out on the left, and Sam Higgins’ pinpoint pass finds HAKEEM ARABA inside the area, who shoots into the roof of the net from 15 yards.

[audio:|titles=5 – East Thurrock 3-0 Hastings]

Game over.

57th min – The Rocks resume the attack, though, and Kris Newby takes advantage of some poor defending on the right to cross to Sam Higgins inside the area, but his first time lob goes well over.

54th min – At the other end, Liam Upton’s shot narrowly misses Coryton Refinery.

52nd min – Back on the pitch, Sam Higgins surges forward, and his powerful shot from 25 yards goes about three inches over the bar.  Good stuff.

51st min – Elsewhere, Billericay Town have had a shocker so far.  And the ultimate humiliation for Rangers Sevco today.  They’re winning, yes, but at Forres Mechanics.  In the Scottish Cup.  In September.  No chortling there, please.

47th min – Already the visitors have shown more purpose.  A run down the middle into the penalty area by Jamie Crellan is only foiled by a retreating Simon Peddie.  Who boots the ball away after a somewhat short and curt word of encouragement to do so from keeper Richard Wray.   Not for ladies ears, that.

4.04pm – KICK OFF! No chortling at the back there.


HALF TIME:  And very comfortable it has been too.  The Rocks took control from the off on, scored a couple of early goals, and haven’t been threatened at all.  Hastings, for their part, will be very disappointed.  They way they played they may have thought it was a 4pm kick off.

[audio:|titles=4 – East Thurrock 2-0 Hastings HT Summary]

Still, an early away goal in the second stanza will make things very interesting.  In the meantime, we’re off for a Bovril and an Irn Bru.  Laters.


45th min+2 – For the first time in the game, Hastings get to the bye-line on the left and get the cross in.  Predictably, though, it’s headed away with comfort at the far post.

42nd min – The grumblings from the away supporters are turning towards their own side’s performance.  Lacklustre is the best that can be described thus far.  Okojie’s run aside, there’s been no attacking threat.  There I go, tempting fate again …..

38th min – Oops, my techophobe fears are being realised today.  Apologies for the long breaks between updates.  The man winding the mechanism round has lost the key.  Rocks, though, still well on top, with visiting keeper Matt Armstrong-Ford forced into a fine double save from Reiss Gilbey and Sam Higgins being the pick of them.

24th min – Having trouble with the mobile interweb thingy, so audio reports aren’t uploading.  But you haven’t missed too much.  The Rocks are still pressing for what they might think would be a killer third goal.  Hastings are being outplayed.  And outbattled.

18th min – GOAL! ….. EAST THURROCK UNITED 2,  Hastings United 0 Bah!  Still busy writing up the first goal and the Rocks go and score again.  So not fair.  A Kye Ruel run and cross on the right finds HAKEEM ARABA at the far post, who heads into the roof of the net.

[audio:|titles=3 – East Thurrock 2-0 Hastings]


12th min – GOAL! ….. EAST THURROCK UNITED 1,  Hastings United 0 Reiss Gilbey takes a free kick on the left touchline, it finds Tom Stephen inside the area, he crosses, and thanks to the wind, finds the head of KYE RUEL, who nods home from inside the six yard box.

[audio:|titles=2 – East Thurrock 1-0 Hastings]

Liquid football!

10th min – The first sign of Hastings menace.  Dee Okojie dribbles inside the Rocks half down the middle, and Simon Peddie slips.  There’s real danger but the ball is miscontrolled.  Phew.

6th min – The lino by us gets a bit of stick from the visiting supporters for an admittedly inexplicable decision to give East Thurrock a throw-in on the left, from which a corner is forced.  It comes to nothing but the un-natives are restless with it all.  Chortle.

3rd min – A bright start from the Rocks, putting in one or two dangerous crosses, and forcing a corner on the right at the Manorway End goal, which is eventually dealt with.  Already on the front foot though.

3.01pm – KICK OFF! Oh yes!


2.59pm – Joe unsubtly points out “The ref’s tiny.  Even shorter than Reiss Gilbey.”  How to insult two people in two seconds, that.

2.58pm – The teams come out to polite applause from a moderate but well wrapped up crowd.  Chortle.  Manager Covo, as ever, joins us in the press box.  The Rocks, as ever, in their yellowy-orangey shits and black shorts, Hastings in light blue shirts and white shorts.

2.55pm – One of the people that makes is special here is Jenny, who is the queen of twitter amongst other things.  Despite the windy conditions, she’s come along without a jacket, unlike her husband.  And the rest of us.  She’s freezing and we’ve all been very sympathetic.  Chortle.

2.50pm – It’s bright but windy here, which is a perfect description of game summariser Joe, too.  A good lad nonetheless.

It’s always nice to visit Rookery Hill, as well, as there’s a real football club feel to it, as opposed to some of the soulless grounds you get to, or where people involved at a club are in it just to big themselves up.

There’s none of that here, which makes visits here all the more enjoyable

2.45pm – Team News;  East Thurrock United go with:

1.  Richard Wray

2.  Ryan Sammons

3.  Tom Stephens

4.  Simon Peddie

5.  Steve Sheehan

6.  Ross Parmenter

7.  Kris Newby.

8.  Reiss Gilbey (c)

9.  Sam Higgins

10.  Hakeem Araba

11.  Kye Ruel



12.  Joe Keith

14.  Marc Gorbell

15.  Matt Hall

16.  Spencer Harrison

17.  Jamie Riley

2.35pm – A very good afternoon from Rookery Hill, the homely home of home side East Thurrock United.  It’s FA Trophy day, and today they face a battle from Hastings.

The Rocks have recent pedigree in knockout competitions.  Last season saw an unforgettable run to the 1st round of the FA Cup, attracting the attention of Sky and ITV in the process, and reached the Ryman League Cup Final.  In the Trophy, too, they took the scalp of Conference South outfit Welling United.

The visitors, however, will be no pushovers.  Hastings are level on points with Covo’s side in the league, separated only by goal difference, and have a track record for making life difficult for their opponents on their travels.  This could be a good ‘un.

Elsewhere, Brentwood Town, fresh from their controversial FA Cup win, have a tricky tie at famed cup giantkillers Walton & Hersham, and Billericay Town’s recent resurgance in the Conference South will be put to the test by the visit of Basingstoke Town.  ‘Ricay haven’t lost at home.  Basingstoke haven’t won away.  Being a karma sort of guy, I don’t like the look of that.

[audio:|titles=1 – East Thurrock v Hastings Preview]

As ever, just keep refreshing the page every few minutes, and a spiffing afternoon of jolly footballing japery will come your way.



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High Drama In The Cup – The Midweek Review

If you want to find out more about controversy in the Cup, and how our ladies are getting in, the midweek review is here.

[audio:|titles=Midweek Local Sports Round-Up]


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FA Cup Draw – The Road To Wembley (Via South Park)

After a rather successful weekend for our local sides, the draw has been made for the 3rd qualifying round of the FA Cup.  The ties are

Cambridge City  v  Billericay Town

East Thurrock United v  Maidstone United

South Park or Harefield United  v  Brentwood Town or Maldon & Tiptree

Ties to be played on Saturday 6th October.

Should Brentwood Town prevail in their replay away at Maldon & Tiptree tomorrow evening, it sadly won’t be a trip to see Cartman, Kenny, et al.  Instead it would be a day out at Reigate, where this particular South Park (should they themselves get through) are based.   Ah well …..

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Better Late Than Never – The Weekend Review

To find out about a thumping away win at the rugby, and what the linesman forgot in the FA Cup, the weekend review is here.

[audio:|titles=Weekend Review 22-23 Sept 2012]



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FA Cup: Brentwood Town v Maldon & Tiptree – LIVE

Brentwood Town 1-1  Maldon & Tiptree

Billericay Town 3-1  AFC Hornchurch

Kingstonian  2-3  East Thurrock United

Rochdale  2-2  Dagenham & Redbridge

Southend United 2-1  Exeter City


FULL TIME: And the curtain comes down on an afternoon of football created by the League of Gentlemen.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see road signs for Royston Vasey as we leave.

In truth, neither team deserved to win.  Nothing too much was created, just an exciting spell just before half time.  The only thing that roused things up after that was a bizarre sending off.  At least it didn’t rain.

[audio:|titles=5 – Brentwood 1-1 Maldon FT]

Pics from today’s extravaganza can be found here …

Anyway, next up will be East Thurrock United’s FA Trophy clash with Hassocks next week (great name, great name).  Until then, enjoy your week, and your football.


90th + 2 – Elliott Justham is forced into a reflex save after a shot comes in from the visitors about 10 yards out just to the left of goal.

Injury Time:  It could be 60 seconds, it could be 3 hours, the way today has gone.

88th min – RED CARD FOR BRENTWOOD TOWN Steve Butterworth goes after another foul.  Or dissent.  Or something.  Nobody really knows why.  Surreal.  Again.

85th min – More handbags after an altercation which results in Danny Dafter earning a yellow card.  For no reason at all, the lino cops it from the spectators.  I think people just like to moan because he’s done nothing wrong today.  Chortle.

82nd min – It’s so frustrating here.  Both teams are playing neat build-up stuff.  But as soon as the ball nears the area, nobody seems willing to chance their arm.  Walking the ball in indeed.  I think they’d rather lie down and poke it with their nose rather than shoot.

79th min – So to summarise elsewhere, excellent wins for Billericay Town and East Thurrock United in the FA Cup.  Really good comebacks resulting in a win for Southend United and a draw for Dagenham & Redbridge in League Two.  And at least it’s not raining here.

75th min – Ooh, almost excitement.  M & T break on the left, it’s played inside the area on the right, where Chris Bryan is in space.  He’s also offside, though, so the danger passes.

70th min – Break for an injury.  Still nothing going on apart from that.  Danny Dafter had a shot at goal but it was easily blocked and dealt with.

[audio:|titles=4 – Brentwood 1-1 Maldon Mid 2nd]

65th min – Nothing to report on here.  I wonder if Derren Brown is controlling the players.  They seem to be in some sort of stupor, although the exact phrase is, erm, something or other in a trance.  Anyway, didn’t I say the League Two sides had time to turn it round?  Oh yes.

60th min – The game has fallen back into pre-season friendly mode.  It’s as if everyone is daydreaming.  Hey guys, that’s my job, that my thing, daydreaming during the game.  Meanwhile Sherwin Stanley comes on for Abs Thompson.

56th min – Some handbags breaks out off the ball, which nobody saw start.  The ref, a good one today, calms it down quickly.  Looks like a cracker at Kingstonian.

52nd min – Nice Maldon & Tiptree move down the left ends in a shot that goes well wide, across the face of goal.  They appeal for a penalty, as a tackle came in after the shot, but the ref isn’t interested.

48th min – A rugged start to the second half.  The ref misses an elbow to one of the visiting players.  I would say the host player was using his arms to jockey for position, rather than a malicious elbow, but it looked painful.  He’s up and running again, though, so all’s ok.

4.25pm – Kick Off! Brentwood in light blue, Maldon & Tiptree in their beautiful orange strip.


HALF TIME: A surreal afternoon, a surreal 45 minutes.  For the vast majority of the first half, it was like a pre-season friendly.  Then as soon as the hosts opened the scoring, it all livened.  Toss of a coin, this, who wins this one.

[audio:|titles=3 – Brentwood 1-1 Maldon HT]

Anyway, I’m off for a Bovril and a dose of reality.  Laters.


41st min – GOAL ….. Brentwood Town 1,  MALDON & TIPTREE 1 That’s how to respond!  I’m busy trying to do the report of the first goal, I look up, and MICHAEL TONER, inside the area, shoots into the roof of the net.  How it got there, I don’t know, but the finish was emphatic.

[audio:|titles=Brentwood 1-1 Maldon]

Game on!

38th min – GOAL! ….. BRENTWOOD TOWN 1,  Maldon & Tiptree 0 And what a cracker.  A cross field pass finds ALEX READ just inside the right hand edge of the area.  He controls and shoots low.  It’s a beauty and ends up in the far corner of the net.

[audio:|titles=Brentwood 1-0 Maldon]

Liquid football!

36th min – Half times elsewhere.  Great stuff from Billericay Town and East Thurrock United in the FA Cup.  Not so good in League Two but plenty of time left.

31st min – After seeing that Sunderland are ahead at West Ham (chortle) I look up in time to see Steve Butterworth put a shot just inside the area on the right across the face of goal, missing by about a foot.

27th min – Maldon & Tiptree go just as close. Chris Bryan and Jamie Guy combine and force a corner on the left.  From that, Michael Toner has a free header at goal in the six yard box, but it goes wide of the left hand post.

25th min – Ooh, that was close.  A corner to Brentwood Town on the right is taken short, the cross goes in, and Lee Blackburn is centimetres wide.

21st min – Ryan Doyle admits defeat and is substituted for Connor Witherspoon.  The Brentwood conditioner bemoans players turning up in flip-flops and summer wear when the cold air starts to come, like today.

18th min – Still no real chance, bar just now where Ryan Doyle pulling up with a hamstring problem provided the visitors with a bit of extra space, but the shot, after being charged down, was easily collected by Elliott Justham.  Ryan’s up and back on, too.

13th min – Maldon & Tiptree’s Jamie Guy tries a long shot but it’s well over.

7th min – It now livens up a little with a nasty foul on Abs Seymour on the right touchline near the halfway line, for which M & T’s Johnathan Glowacki is booked.  The ref tries to play advantage, but of course, nothing comes of it.  After a bit of treatment, Abs is ok.

5th min – Nothing of any note.  I think both teams are a little out of kilter with the delayed start.  The main point of interest has been kids climbing over the seats.  Just concrete below.  Their could be tears.

3.23pm – Kick Off!  At last.


3.19pm – The teams come out to a surreal atmosphere.

3.18pm – Team News:  Brentwood Town’s starting XI is: 1 – Elliott Justham.  2 – Ryan Doyle.  3 – Abs Seymour.  4 – Sam West.  5 – Darren Blewitt.  6 – Danny Dafter.  7 – Abs Thompson.  8 – Lee Blackburn.  9 – Alex Read.  10 – Steve Butterworth.  11 – Greg Cousins.

3.16pm – Even better news!  East Thurrock United open the scoring in their tricky tie at Kingstonian, Kris Newby the scorer.  Get in there

3.15pm – Hurrah!  Billericay Town take the lead in their derby FA Cup clash against Hornchurch through Alex Osborn.

3.05pm – Elsewhere, in Singapore, Lewis Hamilton is on pole position again.  Then it’s Maldonado (!), Vettel, Button and Alonso.  Fernando said it was Leis he respected more than anyone the other day, and recent form seems to bear that out.

[audio:|titles=F1 – Singapore Qualifying Report]

This world title ain’t over.  Not by a long chalk.

3.00pm – They think that kick-off my be underway by 3.20pm.  All word of mouth, this, but the talk is that the reserve official called up, after one of the linesmen pulled out, thought it was a 4pm kick-off.

In the meantime, I’ve been chatting with Brentwood Town’s physical conditioner.  Another one of those characters you meet in non league, he’s a boxer and conditions other athletes as well.  He was great for banter the other night.

At least it’s nice and sunny here, but no action yet.

2.30pmMatch Delayed A very good afternoon to you and yours from The Arena, home of mighty Brentwood Town, for a tasty looking FA Cup encounter with Maldon & Tiptree.

I say mighty as that is exactly what ‘Wood’s performance against Harlow Town was in midweek.  Weathered the early home storm, took their first chance, then pulverised the Hawks in the second half.

There is, however, a delay in proceedings as the match officials haven’t yet turned up!  We are at the moment looking at a 3.30pm kick-off.

In the meantime, looking at the game itself, Maldon & Tiptree will be no pushovers though.  Manager Terry Spillane, his coaches, and plenty of players, enjoyed huge success in the Cup last season, making the 2nd round after a number of notable scalps.  Although I know from personal experience that letting Terry know when Spurs are getting beat annoys him immensely.  Chortle.

Elsewhere, ooh, it’s a good ‘un over at New Lodge, where it’s another Conference South Essex derby tie, and East Thurrock United have an intriguing trip to leafy Surrey.

As ever, keep refreshing the page every few minutes, from 3pm onwards, and the road to Wembley will be made that much clearer.

GAME ON! (… maybe)

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The Road To Wembley, The Way To Maldon – The Weekend Preview

For news on the latest junctions to be navigated on the road to Wembley, and the  first day of the season for one local side, the weekend preview is here.

[audio:|titles=Weekend Preview 22-23 Sept]




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FA Trophy: Harlow Town v Brentwood Town – LIVE

Harlow Town  0-4  Brentwood Town

Dagenham & Redbridge 0-1  Northampton Town

Gillingham  1-0  Southend United


FULL TIME:  My, that’s how to finish a side off.  Clinical finishing and a tremendous away win.  Those golden arches are a step nearer.  Macdonalds for me, that is, but still, Brentwood Town can dream of Wembley.

[audio:|titles=7 – Harlow 0-4 Brentwood FT]

Next up is ‘Wood’s FA Cup tie with Maldon & Tiptree on Saturday.  It’ll be a cracker.  Until then, enjoy the week, and your football.


89th min – GOAL! ….. Harlow Town 0,  BRENTWOOD TOWN 4 Rampant.  Another through ball and this time it’s SHERWIN STANLEY who shoots home coolly from the edge of the area.

[audio:|titles=6 – Harlow 0-4 Brentwood]


83rd min – Jordan Gill tries to exact some revenge with an equally ill timed tackle on Abs Thompson and the man in red also gets a yellow for his troubles.

81st min – Darren Blewitt is a lucky guy.  A crude challenge results in handbags and a booking, with somewhat fruity language from the locals.  He’s sensibly substituted for Martyn Stokes before it gets worse.  The free kick comes to nothing.

78th min – Sub Thompson has real pace, but he plays the ball far too far forwards.  He then runs straight into the nearest Harlow defender and crashes to the ground.  The ref, incredibly, gives the free kick, but nothing comes of it.

75th min – Lee Blackburn comes on for Steve Butterworth.

72nd min – GOAL! ….. Harlow Town 0,  BRENTWOOD TOWN 3 Game over.  Abs Thompson makes an immediate impact, his run and shot forcing a corner.  It’s taken short, Steve Butterworth crosses on the right, and DANNY DAFTER’s first header is blocked by the keeper, but he could do nothing about the rebound.

[audio:|titles=5 – Harlow 0-3 Brentwood]

Wem-ber-lee, Wem-ber-lee …

70th min – Brentwood Town’s first substitution is Abs Thompson on for Peggy Larando.

68th min – Abs Seymour is spoken to by the ref for a bit of an over eager challenge on the far touchline.  No yellow card, though, and the free kick is easily defended.

64th min – I knew I was asking for trouble there.  The ever impressive Jeff Hammond turns and shoots low inside the area for Harlow, and Elliott Justham is forced into another good save by the right hand post.  Me and my big gob.

61st min – More good work again from the Brentwood midfield presents Larando with another chance, but he mishits.  ‘Wood have this game under control at the moment though.

58th min – Almost all over.  Another nice little lob over the defence, and Peggy Larando is free inside the Harlow penalty area.  His shot is on target but Bossu makes an acrobatic save to keep him out.

51st min – GOAL! ….. Harlow Town 0,  BRENTWOOD TOWN 2 After a sleepy start to the second half, I was editing my first half pictures.  I look up, in response to the crowd shouting, and just see ALEX READ from the edge of the area hit the ball into the bottom right hand corner of the net.

[audio:|titles=4 – Harlow 0-2 Brentwood]


8.48pm – Kick Off! Yep, again.  That’s three now.


HALF TIME: And an excellent 45 minutes for Brentwood Town.  They weathered the early storm, took their chance when it came, and largely nullified the early Harlow threat.

The home side may feel aggrieved to be behind, but the simple fact is that they didn’t take their early chances, and Brentwood nailed theirs as soon as they had one.

[audio:|titles=3 – Harlow 0-1 Brentwood HT]

Right, I’m off for a Bovril and a radiator.  Laters.

41st min – Just like the old days.  Stanley Muguo is booked for the hosts after a clumsy challenge.  Chortle.  The free kick comes to nothing, Harlow break, and Hammond again threatens inside the area before Abs Seymour comes to the rescue and shepherds the ball out.

37th min – Neat Brentwood play down the middle sets up Alex Read, whose shot from 20 yards is parried clear.  Eventually there’s a corner, and Bossu saves superbly from Read.  The flag had already gone up for offside but he wasn’t to know.

32nd min – The natives are getting restless, apart from one kid of about 8 who keeps screeching ‘Arrrrloooooooow.  I never knew Justin Bieber supported them but there you are.  Sherwin Stanley is starting to cause problems on the right and the Brentwood defence have started to get to grips with Hammond and Jacobs.  Which sounds more like disposing of corrupt solicitors.

27th min -Steve Butterworth collects a ball just inside the area and his shot on the left is deflected for a corner, missing by inches.  The corner is easily defended though.

22nd min – GOAL! ….. Harlow Town 0, BRENTWOOD TOWN 1 Yes!  A break down the right isn’t dealt with, there’s a low centre that goes across the six yard box, and DANNY DAFTER taps in.

[audio:|titles=2 – Harlow 0-1 Brentwood]

Liquid football!

20th min – Another surging run from Jeff Hammond, this time on the left, and he runs with menace into the Brentwood Town penalty area.  His shot is blocked and pass across goal is deflected away.  He appeals vociferously for a penalty but nobody else is convinced.

18th min – Nice bit of thinking from Sherwin Stanley.  A simple lob over the Harlow back line sets Alex Read free.  Hawks stopper Bertrand Bossu (which sounds suspiciously like an X Factor contestant) just gets to the ball first.  Better from Wood.

15th min – Elsewhere, bad news for Southend United.  Their new keeper Paul Smith has been stretchered off and fitted with a spinal board and neck brace.  Daniel Bentley has come on but, again, fingers crossed for the injured player.

13th min – This time Jacobs has a crack from long distance, and his shot ends up about a foot over the bar from 25 yards out.  Harlow have taken a hold though.

11th min – Wow, that should have been one up to the hosts.  Great build-up between Tony Jacobs and Jeff Hammond again results in the latter shooting from inside the box.  Justham again saves superbly, but the ball breaks to Tony Jacobs, unmarked.  He shoots home, it seems, but Sam West gets back brilliantly to clear off the line.  Great stuff.

8th min – Brentwood respond well.  Alex Read chases a lost cause on the left and gets to the ball on the bye-line.  He centres inside the area, Steve Butterworth is primed to shoot, but he dummies it – to nobody.  Pah.  Nice stuff though.

5th min – Ooh, that was close.  Jeff Hammond beats his man inside the area, passes it to Tony Jacobs, who looks a certain scorer from eight yards out for the hosts.  But Elliott Justham brilliantly parries the goalbound short and the rebound is scrambled away.  Phew.

7.47pm – Kick Off! Oh yes!


7.44pm – The teams come out to polite, lukewarm applause on a coldish night, Harlow in red, Brentwood in light blue with white shorts.  Your commentator is …. sorry, went into Brian Moore mode.  I do miss The Big Match.

7.40pm – Looking through the Hawks line-up, there’s one or two familiar faces.  Stanley Muguo was a mainstay in the East Thurrock United title winning team of a couple of season ago, and Piers Wixon was involved in the Rocks unforgettable FA Cup and League Cup runs last term.  For Harlow Town read Hawks On The Rocks.

7.35pm – I must admit I’m feeling slightly under-dressed this evening.  It’s all ties and suits, with me in denims and a London Broncos tracksuit top.  Still, style never goes out of fashion.

There’s a healthy cash prize at stake tonight, as well as the glory of one more step on the road to Wembley.  It may not seem much but the odd few hundred quid here and there can make and break clubs at this level.  And pay the bar bill.

7.25pm -Team News:  Brentwood Town go for glory with:  1 – Elliott Justham.  2 – Ryan Doyle.  3 – Abs Seymour.  4 – Sam West.  5 – Darren Blewitt (c).  6 – Danny Dafter.  7 – Steve Butterworth.  8 – Peggy Larando.  9 – Alex Read.  10 – Sherwin Stanley.  11 – Greg Cousins.

SUBS:  12 – Abs Thompson.  14 – Lee Blackburn.  15 – Martyn Stokes.  16 – Robbie Rees.  17 – Neil Cousins.

Have to say I like the look of that line-up.  Experience, creativity.  And that’s just me.  Ray disagrees, saying the team has it but not me, and as he’s Brentwood Town’s secretary, I can’t really argue.  He’s a fine chap and obviously has sound judgment.

7.15pm – A very good evening from Barrows Farm Stadium for tonight’s shenanigans.  After a hard fought goalless draw, and very entertaining by all accounts, Brentwood Town have to do it the hard if they are to overcome Harlow Town this evening.

Both clubs have had somewhat inconsistent starts to the season, as reflected in their fairly underwhelming league positions at the moment, but both clubs are expected to be there or thereabouts in the title and play-off shake ups.  The good news for ‘Wood, too, is that the Hawks have lost both their home league games this season.

Elsewhere, in League Two, resurgent Southend United have a tasty looking game at leaders Gillingham, whilst Dagenham & Redbridge will look to pull away from the drop zone when Northampton Town visit.

[audio:|titles=1 – Harlow v Brentwood Preview]

As ever, keep refreshing the page every few minutes, and the helter skelter thrill-a-second ride that is the FA Trophy shall be yours, all yours.  Good innit.




TwitCount Button

Wood March On As ‘Ricay Cure Away Blues – The Weekend Review

For news on a rare away win and a tight home encounter, the weekend round-up is here.

[audio:|titles=Weekend Sport Review For 15-16 Sept 2012]
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Staines Town v Billericay Town – LIVE

Staines Town  1-2  Billericay Town

Brentwood Town 0-0  Harlow Town

East Thurrock United 2-0  Hendon

Cheltenham Town  1-3  Southend United

Dagenham & Redbridge 1-1  Accrington Stanley


FULL TIME: And it’s ‘Ricay’s first away win of the season.  Deservedly so.  More possession and chances.  Nobody seems to be able to cope with how they play at the moment.

[audio:|titles=8 – Staines 1-2 Billericay FT]

Thoughts are with Sam Bates too.  Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Pics from today’s game are here …

Next up will be Brentwood Town’s replay with Harlow Town in the FA Vase this coming Tuesday evening.  Until then, enjoy the weekend, and your football.


90th min + 11 – RED CARD FOR BILLERICAY Nathan Green sees red for kicking the ball away needlessly.  I bet Craig will be pleased with that.

90th min + 10 – A dangerous looking home free kick, central and 30 yards out, turns into a tame effort that Dale Brightly had time to put his cigarette out before saving.

90th+7 min – So it’s good wins for East Thurrock and Southend.  Meanwhile, Staines keeper has a chance to show his acrobatics, saving superbly from Nathan Green on the edge of his six yard box, with Craig Edwards not being able to control the rebound.

90+5th min – Haven’t seen much, but Joe has told me Dale Brightly saved another certain goal, from a shot on the left about 12 yards out and Duran Reynolds has been booked.  All this updating stuff, you know, it taxes your perspicacity.  And your spelling.

Injury Time:  11 (eleven) minutes of it here.

88th min – GOAL! ….. Staines Town 1,  BILLERICAY TOWN 2 Yes!  Yep, a corner on the right.  Yep, Rob Swaine.  But no, not a header!  This time off his shoulder!

[audio:|titles=7 – Staines 1-2 Billericay]

Liquid football!

84th min – Craig Edwards uses his final roll of the dice, replacing Alex Osborn with Josh Hutchinson.  I’m surprised.  But then nothing surprises me.  That’s not my quote, that was Stevo on the Super League last night, but it sums it up well.

82nd min – Staines sub Cyril Ocansey (you have to love that name) plays a lovely 70 yard cross field pass on the left, that finds David Wheeler just inside the area on the bye-line.  His low, hard centre flashes across the edge of the six yard box.

81st min – Play is stopped momentarily as Alex Osborn picks up a knock.  It’s understandably muted here at Wheatsheaf Park.  Sam Bates has gone immediately to hospital in the ambulance.  Best wishes to him.

77th min – Smart home move down the left finds Tony Garrod inside the area, completely free.  He shoots from point blank range but Dale Brightly pulls off a brilliant reflex save.

75th min – Sam Bates is stretchered off to generous applause and the match continues.

73rd min – Still no movement.  They’re putting a neck brace on the poor lad.

[audio:|titles=6 – Staines 1-1 Billericay Mid 2nd]

68th min – The stretcher has come on.  Fingers crossed it’s not serious.  Meanwhile Craig Edwards comes for Luke I’Anson and Junior Luke replaces Sam Lechmere.

65th min – Play is stopped after a Billericay break on the right and cross saw Nathan Green clatter into the home keeper and defender Sam Bates, leaving the host outfield player winded.

63rd min – The hosts earn another corner after Wild and Swaine were beaten for pace.  They try a short one but only succeed in kicking the ball straight out, and about 25 yards wide.  Worst.  Corner.  Ever.

60th min – Staines get a corner of their own on the right but they make the mistake of pumping it high into the six yard box.  Yeah, rightio, that’ll work.  Rob Swaine clears easily.

57th min – Corner on the right to Biller … oh, you know the rest.  Chris Wild this time.  Then from the goal kick and poor defending, Sam Lechmere is giving a half chance, but his shot on the left from 18 yards is wide.

53rd min – There are undiscovered tribes in the Sahara who knew what was coming from a ‘Ricay corner on the right.  This time, Rob Swaine’s header goes narrowly wide.

50th min – My goodness, Staines almost took the lead there.  Good move down the right, a low centre causes consternation, David Wheeler’s shot is blocked but is deflected into the path of Scott Taylor, he looks certain to score from inside the six yard box, but Chris WIld somehow gets back and blocks the goal-bound shot.  The corner is then easily defended.  Phew.

48th min – Another ‘Ricay corner, this time on the right, and Chris Wild’s header at the far post on the edge of the six yard box goes a foot over.  Good start.

47th min – Ooh.  A quickly taken corner on the left fooled everyone, with nobody in the area and the keeper out of position, the ball whistles centimetres wide.

4.05pm – Kick Off! Let’s see if any part of me works.


HALF TIME:  It’s not my day.  The live mic has now packed up.  And Billericay, dominating after a sluggish first 25 minutes or so, must be feeling just as miffed.

There’s certainly been no real danger from the hosts, and ‘Ricay have had numerous chances from the likes of Swaine, Wild, Osborn and Reynolds.

[audio:|titles=5 – Staines 1-1 Billericay HT]

Hope springs eternal, though, that ‘Ricay can convert their dominance into that first away win in the second half.  In the meantime, I’m off for a Bovril and a battery.  Laters


45th min – GOAL! ….. STAINES TOWN 1,  Billericay Town 1 And out of nothing, the hosts equalise.  DAVID WHEELER finds himself in space, and from 22 yards out on the right, his low shot nestles into the far post.

[audio:|titles=4 – Staines 1-1 Billericay]

Totally against the run of play.

43rd min – Billericay pile on the pressure.  Another Duran Reynolds free kick from 25 yards, on the right, is parried by the keeper and out off the post.  From that, a Chris Wild header goes just wide.  ‘Ricay are certainly in control of things here.  Hurrah!

40th min – GOAL! ….. Staines Town 0, BILLERICAY TOWN 1 Yes!  From the Staines clearance, a smart Sam Lechmere through ball on the left found ALEX OSBORN in plenty of space, and this time, he made no mistake from the edge of the area.

[audio:|titles=3 – Staines 0-1 Billericay]


39th min – Another Billericay corner on the left, Rob Swaine heads it, but it’s cleared again.

35th min – Ooh, Staines went close there.  I didn’t see it, though, as I was writing up that Billericay free kick, but the roar from the home supporters and the hands on heads of Staines players signifies it was a near miss.  Properly up-to-date, me, you know.

34th min – Handbags are out.  Matt Drage goes in late on Glenn Poole to become the third home player booked in five minutes.   Duran Reynolds has a pop from about 25 yards, it goes to the near post, the keeper fumbles, but away from goal, and it’s cleared.

32nd min – Nathan Green follows soon after into the ref’s notebook for a foul, then Sam Lechmere takes a whack, for which the hosts Reece Hall is also booked.  Perhaps the ref was simply bored and decided to spice things up a bit.

29th min – Another near thing from Billericay.  Guess what?  Yep.  Set piece.  Free kick on the left, Rob Swaine heads it, but this time it’s cleared just off the line.  In clearing the danger, Staines defender Scott Taylor is booked for his trouble, but the 2nd Billericay free kick comes to nothing.

25th min – Tony Garrod tries a shot for the home side from just outside the area but goes higher than a Charlie Adam penalty at Wembley.

[audio:|titles=2 – Staines v Billericay Mid 1st Half]

22nd min – Glenn Poole tries a long distance shot from a central position but it’s easily saved.

18th min – Ooh, that was close!  Lovely through ball on the left puts Alex Osborn clear.  Home keeper Jack Turner comes out to narrow the angle, though, and parries Osborn’s on target shot from the edge of the area just wide.

17th min – There won’t be many close-up pics of today’s game as the camera’s battery has died.  Pah.  It’ll be just the ones I take from my mobile, which are about as clear as the Kate Middleton ones.  Just as well there’s hardly anything happening on the pitch.

12th min – A semblance of a near miss.  Staines took a corner on the left, the delivery was low, wrong-footing the ‘Ricay defence, but the shot from about 8 yards was tame and well wide of the far post.

11th min – The Billericay contingent are in good voice.  The home side’s chant of “Yellows” (not Gold then) was immediately drowned out by “Essex!  Essex!” and a rendition of ‘She’ll be coming round the mountain.’    Really nothing else to report.

7th min – Nothing of any note so far.  A Billericay free kick on the left touchline from 25 yards out that was easily defended.  That’s it.  But at least it’s sunny and Joe rated the burger here as “Small but good.  Should have been bigger, but the bun was better than Billericay.  And West Ham, it’s rubbish there.”

3.01pm – Kick Off! Oh yes!


2.57pm – The teams come out, Staines in their distinctly yellow looking ‘gold’ and royal blue, with their goalie in shocking pink.  Classy stuff.  Billericay are in sky blue.  Hopefully more in tune with Man City than Coventry.

2.50pm – Subs are 12. – Richard Halle.  14 – Junior Luke.  15 – Craig Edwards.  16 – Josh Hutchinson.  17 – Matt Bennett.  For some reason, I tried for ages to type the subs in below the team line-up, but computer said no.  Delayed road rage I guess.  Or I’m just an eejit.  Your guess is as good as mine …

2.45pm – Team News:  Billericay Town go with

1 Dale Brightly
2 Greg Oates
3 Joe Anderson
4 Luke Panson
5 Rob Swaine
6 Chris Wild
7 Sam Lechmere
8 Glenn Poole
9 Alex Osborn
10 Nathan Green
11 Duran Reynolds

2.40pm – A very warm welcome and belated from a sweltering Wheatsheaf Park for this afternoon’s frivolities.  And an intriguing afternoon is in prospect.  I hope so after the road trip from Hell getting here.  3 hours.  Pah

Staines are much like Billericay so far this season, unbeaten at home, without a win away.  As they’ve played a game less, however, they trail Billericay in the Conference South table, 17th compared to ‘Ricay’s healthy 11th.

Craig Edwards and the boys will be in the best of spirits after their 4-0 tonking of pre-season title favourites Eastleigh last week, a result which cost the Eastleigh manager his job,  Getting their first away win this campaign would, well, it would be a corker!

Brentwood Town are involved in FA Trophy action and East Thurrock United, the draw specialists, will be hopeful of gaining their first league victory of the campaign.  This afternoon should be absorbing – and could be a cracker!

[audio:|titles=1 – Staines v Billericay Preview]

As ever, keep refreshing the page every few minutes, and your eyes and ears will be filled with the drama and japery of an afternoon at the football.


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A Massive Test And Trial By Trophy – The Weekend Preview

For news on what our local football and rugby clubs are up to at the weekend, and whose getting the ‘Between The Lines’ live treatment, the weekend preview is here.

[audio:|titles=Weekend Sports Preview For 15-16 Sept 2012]
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FA Cup Draw

The draw has just been made for the 2nd qualifying round for the FA Cup.  The road to Wembley may be truncated, by there’s always some thrills and spills along the way.  The draw for this round has proved to be no exception with a tasty little derby match thrown in.

Billericay Town v  AFC Hornchurch

Brentwood Town v  Maldon & Tiptree

Kingstonian  v  East Thurrock United

Ties to be played on Saturday 22nd September.  Needless to say ‘Between The Lines’ will cover one of these games as its featured live match that day.

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Cup, Conference, Conversions, Cricket – The Win, Win, Winning Weekend Review

For news on what was a fairly good time for our local sides in the world of sport, the weekend review is here.

[audio:|titles=Weekend Review 8-9 Sept 2012]
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Broncos Stoop To Conquer

As regular listeners to Between The Lines, and those that log onto live football updates, will probably know by now, the sport I actually have the greatest affinity with is rugby league.

Saturday was the last game of the London Broncos torrid yet somehow encouraging Super League season.   Hull KR were the visitors to the Twickenham Stoop to face up against a side that had won 3 out of 22 games, but then another 3 from their last 4.

Anything could happen.  And so it did in the first half, as Joe and I pontificated on:

[audio:|titles=London 24-12 Hull KR Half Time]

Despite that, we still had time to chew the fat about the F1 qualifying over in Italy, too!

[audio:|titles=F1 – Qualifying Review, Italy]

The second half was even more frenetic and unpredicatble as the first.  For two sides who had nothing except pride to play for it was a spellbinding spectacle, with the result in doubt right up until the final second.

The small Twickenham Stoop crowd roared their approval, making more noise than the nearby Lady Gaga concert.

Joe and I, almost breathless, articulated ours at the final whistle.

[audio:|titles=London 48-42 Hull KR Full Time]

So another Super League was wrapped up for our local pro side for another season.   I will be pining for February now!


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First Day, Last Day, Cup Day – The Weekend Preview

For news on the first rugby fixture, the last of the cricket, and the next junction on the road to Wembley, the weekend preview is here.

[audio:|titles=Local Sports Weekend Preview For 8 Sept]
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Billericay Town v Tonbridge Angels – LIVE

Billericay Town 3-3  Tonbridge Angels

Dagenham & Redbridge 3-2  Stevenage

Southend United 2-1  AFC Wimbledon


FULL TIME: Wow.  Just wow.  One of the best games I’ve seen in a long time.  Action and excitement from start to finish.  What a sting in the tail but credit to the Angels for hanging on in there when all seemed lost.

[audio:|titles=8 – Billericay 3-3 Tonbridge – FT]

Next time Billericay get the live treatment is their upcoming trip to Staines Town.  If tonight’s anything to go by, it’ll be unmissable.  There will be plenty of other coverage in the meantime.  I’m just not sure what just yet, but it’ll be fun whatever it is.

I’m off for a lie-down.  Laters everyone.


90th +1 – GOAL! ….. Billericay Town 3,  TONBRIDGE ANGELS 3 And less than one is all it took for Angels to sensationally draw level.  The ball came in from the left, Blues fail to clear on the edge of their six yard box, and it’s slotted it in.  What a finale!

Injury Time:  Three minutes.  That’s somewhat kind for the home side.  Hurrah!

89th min – Not been as frantic as I’d anticipated.  Angels are trying to come forward but the sum total of zero squared has been created.  That could change in a second though.

84th min – GOAL! ….. Billericay Town 3,  TONBRIDGE ANGELS 2 From nowhere, Angels are back in it.  A crude challenge in the area and FRANNIE COLLIN whacks the penalty in.

[audio:|titles=7 – Billericay 3-2 Tonbridge]

Game most definitely on.

81st min – More treatment and another ‘Ricay substitution, this time Luke I’Anson being replaced by Craig Edwards.  Not the manager ming guy, but his very handy son.  But you knew that anyway.

76th min – Alex Osborn is on for the hard working Marc Charles-Smith, who comes off to well earned applause.  Attendance tonight is 365.  And one drily cynical media chappie.  Ahem …

74th min – As it happens, the Angels subs have made a difference.  Great ball from George Crimmen on the left almost released Ollie Schulz in the area.  It took a bit of last ditch defending to stop a dangerous stuation there.

70th min – You haven’t missed a thing.  Except a foul throw.  Which the lino did.  Been injury treatment and Angels substitutions.  The away supporters are being very, very rude.  Very unangelic.  Possibly due to being upstarted tonight.  Or more likely to being hen pecked at home.  Chortle.

65th min – Apologies for the slight break there, too busy writing, taking pics and yappng into a mic.  Blues seem to have the game under control now.  Angels have just had a corner on the right but it went straight into the hands of Dale Brightly.  Anyone coming in now would know who were winning by the teams body language.  Definite Alpha males and Beta males out there.

58th min – GOAL! ….. BILLERICAY TOWN 3,  Tonbridge Angels 1 Well, we got there in the end!  Another home surge inside the area, there’s a shot on goal by Nathan Green as the foul comes in, and it rebounds off the post.  GLENN POOLE hits the follow up into an empty net but the ref has already given a penalty, which he dispatches with ease.

[audio:|titles=6 – Billericay 3-1 Tonbridge]

That could be the game breaker.

54th min – Debuatant left back Joe Anderson is having a storming game for ‘Ricay.  He runs forward menacingly and hits a cracker of a shot.  It’s probably in Stock by now though.  High and wide it certainly was.

52nd min – Back come the Angels, though, and Lee Browning’s speculative effort from 30 yards is a cracker, and Dale Brightly does superbly well to put out for a corner, which is easily defended.

51st min – Luke I’Anson tries to get in on the act too, on the left, and even gets a shot in, but it’s a relatively tame effort.

50th min – Although having said that, a quiet start to the second half.  Both sides settling down a bit after the excitement of the first half.  Duran Reynolds just had a nice run to the edge of the area, though, but was well blocked.

8.45pm – KICK OFF! This could be a thriller, you know!


HALF TIME:  Blimey, that was a rip-snorter of a first half, packed with incident, action, goals, supporters getting het up, and the promise of players losing it sooner rather than later.

Billericay deserve to be ahead, but no mistake about it, Tonbridge look dangerous coming forward.  They could still win this.  Pulsating stuff.  And that’s not just my pacemaker.

[audio:|titles=5 – Billericay 2-1 Tonbridge – HT]

Right, off for a Bovril and a hyper-ventiliation or two.  Laters.


45th min – and 2 minutes of added time.  I can see handbags breaking out in this game.  All getting a little bit niggly and shouty-shouty.  And that’s just me.

39th min – GOAL! ….. BILLERICAY TOWN 2,  Tonbridge Angels 1 Karma!  Tonbridge refuse to give the ball back, their attack breaks down, Billericay go forward, win a corner on the right, and this time ROB SWAINE heads in at the far post.

[audio:|titles=4 – Billericay 2-1 Tonbridge]

Justice!  And liquid football!

37th min – Duran Reynolds goes down after an off-the-ball clash that nobody really saw.  Play stops and one of the Tonbridge Angels players berates the linesman, asking him where the foul was.  I think you’ll find it was the chap with the whistle, running around with you chaps in the black kit, that gave it.  Chortle.

32nd min – And the hosts come again.  Sam Lechmere has another run and his shot from just over 20 yards out canons off the keeper, who positioned himself well.  No doubts, though, Billericay are well on top at the moment.

30th min – A deflected Billericay shot, another corner on the right.  Quite boring this time though.  Only one header cleared off the line.  Bah.

27th min – I’ve never seen anything like it.  A corner comes in on the right for ‘Ricay, there’s panic in the six yard box, and there were at least four goalbound attempts that either bounced off the keeper or defender on the line.  And another header that hit the crossbar.  Unreal.

25th min – That could be a game changer!  Nice Angels move down the right sees Lee Browning free inside the area.  He lobs cleverly over the onrushing Dale Brightly, it looks a certain goal, but Greg Oates clears off the line.  Superb.

22nd min – Ooh, the Town defence went to sleep momentarily on the Tonbridge left at a throw-in near their own area.  George Purcell is momentarily free from any markers but I don’t think he realised just how much time he had, played it a bit too quickly, and the defence got back.

17th min – Ooh, that was close.  A Sam Lechmere run, mazier than the Amazon, takes him inside the area, where a corner is conceded on the right.  From that, Rob Swaine misses at the far post of the Blunts Wall End goal by inches.  Much better.

15th min – I’ve hardly been able to see a thing with all the writing up and talking.  Fortunately the trusty voice of Craig Edwards keeps me in touch.  And the rest of South Essex too.  Meanwhile, Glenn Poole’s free kick on the left is eventually defended after a moment of panic in the box.

9th min – GOAL! ….. BILLERICAY TOWN 1,  Tonbridge Angels 1 What did I say about missing the action?  In the midsts of typing up the past few minutes, I hear a shout go up.  I was lucky though.  I saw NATHAN GREEN and Angels keeper Lee Worgan challenge for the ball in the six yard box.  The ball ends up in the net because of it.  We look at the ref.  He runs towards the centre circle.  Hurrah!  That’s how to respond.

[audio:|titles=3 – Billericay 1-1 Tonbridge]

Liquid football!

7th min – The hosts are shocked, and the Angels, despite Craig Edwards protestations to the contrary, beat the offside trap, and their shot goes inches wide of the post.  At the other end, ‘Ricay force a corner on the right, which is defended easily enough.  The players also have an annoying habit of playing while I’m looking away doing my radio reporting bit.  Very unsporting.

89th second – GOAL! ….. Billericay Town 0,  TONBRIDGE ANGELS 1 The worst possible start.  From the kick off, Town needlessly concede a free kick on the right hand edge of their own area.  It’s whipped in quickly and MARK LOVELL sends a diving header into the right hand corner of the Cricket End net.

[audio:|titles=2 – Billericay 0-1 Tonbridge]

A shocker of a start.

7.43pm – KICK OFF! Oh yes!  They just couldn’t wait, you know.


7.42pm – As ever, the teams come out to the strains of Rocky.  Not a massive crowd but not bad either, considering it’s a school night, and the teams’ relative early form.

7.40pm – I take it the PA man is about the same age as me, with his Beatles and Gerry Anderson songs blaring out.  Which means he’s old.  It’s no fun, you know.  Apart from being allowed to moan at everything.  We’re expected to.

7.30pm – Team news:  Billericay Town line up tonight with

1.  Dale Brightly
2.  Greg Oates
3.  Joe Anderson
4.  Luke I’Anson
5.  Rob Swaine
6.  Chris Wild
7.  Sam Lechmere
8.  Glenn Poole
9.  Mark Charles-Smith
10. Nathan Green
11. Duran Reynolds

12. Richard Halle
14. Alex  Osborn
15. Craig Edwards
16. Josh Hutchison
17. Max Bennett

So Joe boy makes his debut.  Hurrah!


7.25pm – The big pre-match news for ‘Ricay is the signing of full back Joe Anderson from AFC Hornchurch.  He was the Urchins Player of the Season last term so you can probably take it as read he’ll be in tonight’s squad at least.

Elsewhere it’s JPT night (which sounds suspiciously like a gentleman’s interest club).  Dagenham & Redbridge play host to those perennial entertainers Stevenage.

Southend United, meanwhile, are charging just a fiver a ticket and handing out free programmes for their clash with AFC Wimbledon.  And still have only one stand open.  Yep, they love the glamour down Roots Hall way.


7.20pm – A very good evening from New Lodge.  The weather’s mild, the kids are back at school, Billericay Town are at home.  Life is good.

It could be better though.  Since that dramatic last gasp win over Truro, ‘Ricay have amassed just one point in their past four games.  Admittedly, three of them were away, but it’s a little worrying all the same.

With three defeats on their travels, good home form is crucial.  Standing in the way tonight are Tonbridge Angels, England manager Roy Hodgson’s old stamping ground no less.

They have problems of their own, mind, without a win this season and teetering on the edge of the drop zone.  This could be an opportunity to, erm, kick start Billericay Town’s start.

[audio:|titles=1 – Billericay v Tonbridge Preview]

As ever, keep refreshing the page every few minutes, and the jolly japery that 90 minutes of soccer skills brings will be yours.


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Goals, Runs and Rugrats – The Weekend Sports Review

For news on another promotion for one of our cricket clubs, and a late late winner on the day the FA Cup was on display, the weekend sports review is here.

[audio:|titles=Weekend Sports Review 1-2 Sept]
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Carshalton v East Thurrock United – LIVE

Carshalton  1-1  East Thurrock United

Bath City  2-1  Billericay Town

Brentwood Town 2-0  Cheshunt

AFC Wimbledon  2-2  Dagenham & Redbridge

Southend United 1-0  Wycombe Wanderers


FULL TIME:  And overall, a fair result.  East Thurrock United were probably the better of the two teams, but not really enough to warrant taking all three points.  Spencer Harrison’s dismissal was the obvious turning point, as that gave Carshalton encouragement, but an away point with 10 men isn’t so bad in the run of things.  Although it does extend both clubs winless legue starts.

[audio:|titles=7 – Carshalton 1-1 East Thurrock FT]

Pics from this afternoon’s game can be found here:

Next up is Tuesday evening’s Conference South clash at New Lodge between Billericay Town and Tonbridge Angels.  Unitl then, laters.


Injury Time: 180 seconds of them.  Or 3 minutes, whatever is cheaper.  And ooh, possibly a late winner for Brentwood Town!

90th min – And the Rocks almost nick it again.  A corner on the right, some confusion in the area, and Kye Ruel’s shot from 10 yards is saved on the line.  Ooh.

86th min – Ooh, that was nearly a shock lead for the Rocks.  Good work from Kris Newby on the right, he crosses, Reiss Gilbey gets to it, but his header goes inches wide of the far post.

81st min – GOAL ….. CARSHALTON ATHLETIC 1,  East Thurrock United 1 I might have known it.  A pass into the right hand side of the box, sub OLA SOGABUNMU turns superbly, and slots home into the far post corner of the net from 10 yards.

[audio:|titles=6 – Carshalton 1-1 East Thurrock]

The Rocks are in trouble here.

78th min – Having a chat with JB in the press box.  He says he can’t see a way through for Carshalton.  I know your cunning plan, James, tempting fate and that.    And from a centre on the left, Wayne Gray heads over.  That was too close for comfort, that.

74th min – But back come Covo’s boys, and Sam Higgins surging run down the right ends with a shot that flashes across the face of goal.

[audio:|titles=5 – Carshalton v East Thurrock 75 mins]

73rd min – Ooh, uncomfortably close to an equaliser.  A corner on the right, nobody picks up defender Dawayne Campbell, but his powerful header from 10 yards goes a foot over the bar.

71st min – Still the Rocks come forward, though, and from the right Sam Collins does well to get the cross in.  Sam Higgins’ header goes just wide from eight yards out.

67th min – RED CARD FOR EAST THURROCK UNITED Oh-oh, this could be a game changer.  Spencer Harrison, the last defender, takes his man down from about 25 yards.  The free kick comes to nothing but he’s off for an early bath.  Ho hum

66th min – Some neat play from Reiss Gilbey and Kris Newby in the opposition half ends with a curling Kye Ruel shot just inside the left hand edge of the area which is well saved.  Nice stuff.

63rd min – Oddly enough, though, we’re back to the moribund stuff.  That’ll do me now.  The Rocks win a free kick halfway inside the Robins half but it comes to nowt.

58th min – GOAL! ….. Carshalton Athletic 0,  EAST THURROCK UNITED 1 Yes!  At last!  The Rocks resume the attack from the keeper’s kick down the right, Ryan Sammons gets a wicked centre in, and SAM COLLINS slots home at the near post.

[audio:|titles=4 – Carshalton 0-1 East Thurrock]

Liquid football!

57th min – At last a decent effort.  East Thurrock win a throw on the left, and on the edge of the area, Sam Collins shoots, with home keeper Nick Hamann making a good save at the near post

54th min – Again the Rocks come forward, and Reiss Gilbey can’t quite get any control on a through ball on the right hand edge of the area.  At the other end, Richard Wray fumbles a relatively easy take but it’s away from the goal rather than towards it.  A brown trouser moment though.

51st min – East Thurrock respond by forcing a corner on the right, which results in a shot going hide and wide.  One of the rugrats says it’s the fifth ball that’s gone out the ground.  Maybe the balls themselves are trying to tell us something.

47th min – A mazy Jack Clark run causes the Rocks problems, the ball is played wide right to Wayne Gray, his cross is an excellent one but nobody gets on the end of it.  Phew.

4.02pm – Kick off! Oh ye … oh alright, if you must.


HALF TIME: It hasn’t been an awful, error strewn game, but one of those mundane ones where both sides cancel each other out.  If only Kye Ruel’s early effort had gone in, it would’ve livened things up no end.  Ah well, we can hope that the next 45 gives us the sort of action the first 10 did.

[audio:|titles=3 – Carshalton v East Thurrock Half Time]

Right, off for a Bovril and another bacon roll.  Oh yes.  Laters.

45th min – Ooh, how very close.  A free kick on the right, delivered smartly by Spencer Harrison, Kris Newby gets the merest of a flick-on, and it goes just wide of the far post.  What a time that would have been to score.

41st min – Deep inside East Thurrock territory, Ryan Sammons shackles Jack Clark and gets a whack in the face for his troubles.  There was no intent though.  But Ryan’s reaction may have turned the hosts red shirts blue as well as the air.  Chortle.

38th min – Ooh, a somewhat crude tackle about 25 yards out, in a central position, gives the hosts a free kick.  It looks dangerous but is just smacked against the wall and away.  Not exactly liquid football.

37th min – Lovely turn by Kye Ruel on the edge of the Athletic box but his shot is tamer than a very tame thing.  That’s been domesticated.

33rd min – I’m not saying the game is uninspiring at the moment, but I spy, with my little eye …. The Rocks had another corner that again went straight out, and Jack Clark’s shot for Carshalton on the left hand edge of the area went in the general direction of Sutton.

29th min – Richard Wray is alert to a through ball played to Lewis Taylor on the right, and he comfortably punches clear as soon as the ball comes into the area.

26th min – The rugrats around me are making a din.  That’s about the only real fun so far.  Cancelling each other out is the expression.

[audio:|titles=2 – Carshalton v East Thurrock Mid 1st]

21st min – As soon as I say that, a bit of action.  The Rocks get a couple of corners, and the hosts one after a Lewis Taylor shot was deflected out on the right hand edge of the six yard box.  None of the corners came to anything though.

18th min – After the lively start, it’s gone a bit, well, moribund.  JB, the Carshalton media guy, agrees that it needs livening up a bit.  Perhaps random punchings?

14th min – The hosts are slowly getting a foothold in proceedings without creating a chance as such.  Everyone seems to be happy though.  Must be the nice weather or parents knowing they’ll be rid of their rutrags at school soon.  Meanwhile, Brentwood Town miss an open goal.  Hurroo.

10th min – More pressure and another corner, on the left, which comes to nothing.  But Southend United are ahead.  Hurrah and huzzah!

7th min – Wow, that was close!  More pressure from Ryan Sammons and Kris Newby on the right forces a second corner.  There’s panic just outside the six yard box, Kye Ruel gets the header in, it looks a certain goal, but is deflected over the bar for another corner, which then evades everyone.  Good start for East Thurrock, this.

3rd min – Early pressure from the Rocks, clad in their black and white striped away kit (ugh), which earns a corner on the left, but is comfortably defended.

3.00pm – KICK OFF! Oh yes!


2.58pm – The teams come out to polite applause, with loads of Carshalton’s youth kids / toddlers running out as mascots.  Good that, innit.

2.55pm – Phew, glad that got through.  Anyway, the War Memorial Sports Ground is well appointed.  The bacon rolls are great.  That’s all you need really.  Not a huge crowd, but not surprising considering it’s the last weekend of the school hols, Paralympics are on, and both sides are yet to record a league win yet.

Had a nice chat with Wayne Gray, whose goal secured Southend United the League One title in 2006 at a packed Roots Hall.  I doubt it’s packed today, and judging by what Wayne told me about the present situation, doubt there will be much joy on or off the pitch for the Shrimpers in the coming months.  Oh.

2.50pm – Team News Oh my, the interweb thingy is playing up already.  Bother.  Anyhow, the Rocks go with:

1.  Richard Wray

2.  Ryan Sammons

3.  Tom Stephen

4.  Simon Peddie

5.  Spencer Harrison

6.  Ross Parmenter

7.  Kris Newby

8.  Reiss Gilbey (c)

9.  Sam Higgins

10.  Kye Ruel

11.  Sam Collins

The subs are

12.  Lewis Bentley

14.  Joe Keith

15.  Matt Hall

16.  Lewis Frost

17.  Marc Gorbell

2.40pm – A very warm welcome from a very warm War Memorial Sports Ground.  It could be another battle today, too, as East Thurrock United go in search of their first win of the season.

It’s not as bad as it sounds.  The Rocks have drawn 3 of their 4 league games, including that very good point they picked up the last time they had the live treatment at Wealdstone.  One thing is certain, though, and that’s nothing is certain when Covo’s boys take to the field.  They can play awful and win, or play superbly and get pummelled.

A close eye will also be kept on Billericay Town’s long trip to Bath City.  It’s a tough ask to win there, with the hosts recent Conference pedigree.  There’s also fun and frolics to be had at the Arena, with the FA Cup on show, and Brentwood Town wanting that first league win against Cheshunt.  All in all, a spiffing afternoon of top notch footy fun is coming your way.

[audio:|titles=1 – Carshalton v East Thurrock Preview]

As ever, just keep refreshing this page every few minutes, and tune into the superb Dave Turner on Between The Lines from 4pm, and all will become clear.  And exciting.  Maybe.  Perhaps.  Oh yes.



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Wickets, Goals and Transfers – The Weekend Preview

For news on a local three way promotion fight, a surprise departure, and the FA Cup coming to Brentwood, here’s your weekend preview.

[audio:|titles=Weekend Sports Preview 1-2 Sept]
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Rhinos Savaged By Wolves – A Day Out At Wembley

With no ‘Between The Lines’ this weekend, I took the opportunity of a rare Saturday away from local football to take in the big day for one of my favourite sports, rugby league.

Much like the round ball game, the advent of the Super League and satellite tv money has somewhat pushed aside the old traditions of the game.  Instead of Bradford Northern it’s Bradford Bulls.  Wakefield Trinity?  Nope, it’s Wakefield Wildcats.

Unlike football, though, it’s cup competition, the Challenge Cup, keeps all of its aura and magic.  It doesn’t need a sports channel telling people how great it is.  It sells itself on pure competition alone.

This year it was Rhinos v Wolves – or Leeds v Warrington to the rest of us.  There were plenty of fans walking up Wembley Way.











As usual there were plenty of traders selling their tat as well:







The crowd was a good one, almost 80,000, and here’s how Joe and I saw it all before the game:

[audio:|titles=1 – Preview]


Pretty soon into the game came the first try from a high ball:






[audio:|titles=2 – First Try]


But then, midway through the first half, my did the heavens open!









Half time came with the Rhinos trailing the Wolves 10-12.  Or, in oldies terms, Warrington were beating Leeds.  The Yorkshire side had lost the previous two finals as well so their supporters, in whose end we were sat.  This was how we saw the first 40 minutes go.

[audio:|titles=3 – Half Time]


Then early in the second half, it appeared that Leeds had taken the lead.  Appeared.  But then …






[audio:|titles=4 – Disallowed Try]


That was a turning point.  Warrington piled on the pressure and the points.  With an hour gone, they were out of sight.  Some Rhinos supporters weren’t too happy:





[audio:|titles=5 – Killer Try]


In the end, Warrington were easy winners, 35-18.  Leeds players were distraught.  Their supporters left in droves well before the end – and those that stayed continued to cause trouble.  3 Challenge Cup Final defeats was unprecedented.  But this was Warrington’s third Challenge Cup win in four years.  They were worthy winners and their supporters were extremely happy.





[audio:|titles=6 – Full Time]


All in all, it was another fabulous day out, and not even the meatheads from Leeds, who it has to be said were a tiny, tiny minority of a massive support, which was the vast majority of the 79,000 crowd.  My son never felt threatened at any point, in fact he likened it to Richie and Eddie from Bottom!

Supporters sitting side by side, beer in their hands, applauding both sides, creating a magnificent atmosphere – and all for a tenner.  In spite of all the hype and money that top level sport seems to be just about, rugby league has got something right.  Very, very right.

See you in 2013, Wembley.  Fingers crossed with the Broncos!






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Promotion, Deckchairs, And The Cup – Your Weekend Preview

It could be a seminal moment for a couple of cricket clubs, the road to Wembley starts for one football club, and others get their suntan lotion out.

Your weekend preview is here.

[audio:|titles=Weekend Preview For Matches On 25th August]
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Wealdstone v East Thurrock United – LIVE

Wealdstone  1-1  East Thurrock United

Hayes & Yeading  4-2 Billericay Town

Grays Athletic  4-1  Brentwood Town

Dagenham & Redbridge 0-0  Plymouth Argyle

Oxford United  2-0  Southend United


FULL TIME: And what an excellent evening’s entertainment that was.  It looked for all the world as if the Rocks were marking their away trips this season with a defeat, but they kept at it, and after the equaliser, were the only team in it.

[audio:|titles=Wealdstone 1-1 East Thurrock Full Time]

Next up soccer-wise will be Brentwood’s trip to Thamesmead on Bank Holiday Monday, as Saturday we’re at Wembley for the Challenge Cup Final.

(And some disticnctly average photos from tonight here … )

Until then, enjoy your football.


Injury time:  And the Rocks surge forward again.  Wealdstone are booting the ball anywhere, hanging on.

89th min – Kye Ruel gets a needless booking for a shove on an opponent.  Silly lad.

87th min – The Stones supporters urge their side on, and they try to pressurise, winning a corner on the left.  But they look like they’ve run out of steam and it’s dealt with easily.

83rd min – Another East Thurrock corner causes all sorts of problems, with a couple of shots on goal being deflected wide.  Eventually it’s cleared.  The home supporters are saying they’ll take a point.  The visitors want all three though.

79th min – Although having said that …. Wealdstone cross the ball into the area on the left, and of all people Joe Keith gets to it, his defensive header out looks for a moment that it’s trickling in, but it goes an inch or two past the near post.  Brown trousers again.

77th min – Reiss Gilbey tries his luck with a free kick, and when the ball rebounds of the wall, his follow up is superbly saved.  From nothing, it’s all Rocks.

76th min – You can see the confidence flowing through Covo’s boys.  Kris Newby sets up Sam Collins nicely, but is shot goes wide.  East Thurrock’s tails are up, no doubt about it.

74th min – Ooh, that was close.  Sam Higgins gets clear on the right, his shot inside the area is superbly parried by the host keeper, Higgins follows up with a blisteringly fast centre into the six yard box, and Sam Collins fails by centimetres to connect.

71st min – Spencer Harrison and a Wealdstone midfielder collide with each other accidentally, but the home fans don’t see it like that, and nor do some of the players.  The ref takes their handbags away.

67th min – GOAL! ….. Wealdstone 1,  EAST THURROCK UNITED 1 Yes!  An amazing passage of play.  Sam Collins shot hits the bar on the left, Sam Higgins follow-up was deflected, as was Reiss Gilbey’s, yet the home defence still didn’t clear it, the ball came to KRIS NEWBY unmarked inside the area, and he lobbed it superbly from 12 yards.

[audio:|titles=Wealdstone 1-1 East Thurrock]

Liquid football!

66th min – The home supporters are getting loud at what they see as two poor refereeing decisions.  They weren’t.  Simple as.

63rd min – And Wealdstone reply in kind, a similar shot going way over the bar.

60th min – On the pitch, Kris Newby tries his luck from 22 yards in a central right position, but goes nearer the Wealdstone Megastore than the goal.

58th min – The rain is lashing down, but strangely, there’s not a sound of raindrops against the stand.  The home supporters huddle under a small enclosure and try to get some songs going but the game is absorbing so chants are few and far between.  Meanwhile Billericay go 3-1 down.  Harumph.

55th min – That was perilously close to 2-0.  A low centre on the left was allowed to go across the edge of the penalty area, and the shot from 15 yards in the right flashes past the far post.

52nd min – Spencer Harrison and Kye Ruel try to get something going on the right but it comes to nothing.  Meanwhile, Billericay half the deficit at Hayes & Yeading with a penalty.  Hurrah!

49th min – Another dangerous home run on the right, the centre comes in, and Jamie Riley does superbly well to get to it.  Before the rebound is pounced upon, the linesman puts his flag up.

8.51pm – KICK OFF! Come on you Rocks!


HALF TIME: And East Thurrock have it all to do.  After weathering that early storm, the Rocks created a number of chances themselves, but in the last 10 minutes or so the Stones had them on the rack.  The goal had to come, the number of gilt edged chances they were creating.

[audio:|titles=Wealdstone 1-0 East Thurrock Half Time]

Never mind, still 45 minutes to turn it around.  Time for a Bovril and a prayer.  Laters.

45th min – Ooh, so close to an immediate equaliser.  Sam Collins and Reiss Gilbey combine well on the right, and a shot from inside the area goes inches across the face of goal.

43rd min – GOAL ….. WEALDSTONE 1,  East Thurrock United 0 Another golden opportunity for the home side wasted, with a shot clearing the bar.  But the Stones attack on the right straight from the goal kick, RICHARD JOLLEY is put through, and he slots it into the far corner with a low shot from 15 yards.

[audio:|titles=Wealdstone 1-0 East Thurrock]

42nd min – Billericay now 2-0 behind, and Southend United down to 10 men.  Not the greatest of evenings so far for our sides.

40th min – Things are settling down a bit, although there was a nervy looking back pass to keeper Jamie Riley, with Richard Jolley bearing down, but he dealt with it well.

35th min – Again the danger isn’t cleared, and a cross on the right this time looks certain to end up in the far corner of the net, but it goes inches past.  Brown trousers time.

34th min – Oh my!  Wealdstone miss a glorious chance.  After Simon Peddie blocks a shot, the ball isn’t cleared properly, and a cross comes in on the left, inside the area, with the Stones forward totally unmarked, but with the goal at his mercy he puts it over.  Phew.

32nd min – A somewhat hopeful effort from the hosts, a shot from 35 yards that narrowly misses the Metropolitan line.  Elsewhere, Brentwood and Billericay fall behind.  Harumph.

27th min – Both teams are taking a little breather.  I tell you what, though, for a 0-0, it’s a good ‘un.

[audio:|titles=Wealdstone v East Thurrock Mid 1st half]

23rd min – Kris Newby’s corner on the left causes more consternation in the hosts’ defence, and after a couple of shots, the ball is eventually cleared.

20th min – And again the visitors do something good.  Kris Newby’s neat cross is met by Sam Higgins on the right, and his diving header goes just wide.  The Rocks have weathered the storm, it seems, and coming back into it.

18th min – Great counter attack by the Rocks, a good turn from Sam Higgins on the left hand edge of the area, and Marc Hall’s goalbound shot is deflected wide.  That’s better.

16th min – The home side are ‘massively on top’, .Joe comments succinctly, as another cross goes in and two shots inside the area are blocked.  Alamo?  Not quite.  Yet.

14th min – And yet more danger for the Rocks, again on the right.  A cross comes in, evades Jamie Riley, but goes just past the far post and out.  Living on their wits at the moment, Covo’s boys.

12th min – Spencer Harrison gets a yellow card for a forceful challenge on the left touchline.  The free kick, about 35 yards out, goes harmlessly out of play.

10th min – Ooh, that was close.  Another Wealdstone break on the right, the cross comes in, as does the shot from 15 yards.  It looks a certain goal but Steve Sheehan brilliantly gets a foot to it and deflects it for a corner, which is defended well.  Phew!

8th min – Ooh, a bit of late one on Kris Newby, who receives a couple of studs around his knee.  The ref calms things down and gives the free kick without flapping.  One of my press box colleagues does, though, moaning about not being allowed to tackle.  Well, not with studs in the knees, you’re not.

5th min – Again Wealdstone win a corner on the right and from it Massey heads just over the bar.  A lively start here.

3rd min – It’s the visitors who have the first shot though.  After some nice approach play in the middle third, Joe Keith puts through Sam Higgins just inside the left hand edge of the area and he forces a decent save from the home keeper at the near post.

1st min – Already trouble.  A good Stones move down the right, and a quick, swerving and dangerous centre is headed out for a corner, which Riley thankfully collects.

7.47pm – KICK OFF! Oh yes!


7.44pm – The teams come out to a good reception to a moderate crowd, with other media chaps’ laptops getting damaged in the wet.  I may be small but it does the trick.

7.40pm – Team News Here’s the Rocks line-up:

1.  Jamie Riley
2.  Spencer Harrison
3.  Joe Keith
4.  Simon Peddie
5.  Steve Sheehan
6.  Matt Hall
7.  Kris Newby
8.  Reiss Gilbey
9.  Sam Higgins
10. Kye Ruel
11. Sam Collins



12.  Lewis Bentley
14.  Lewis Frost
15.  Charlie Bradford
16.  Marc Gorbell
17.  Richard Wray

7.30pm – Elsewhere, there’s some tough trips for the rest of our sides, too.  Brentwood Town will be wanting to play party poopers in the first competitive game at Grays Athletic new Rush Green home.

Billericay Town travel to a side playing in the Conference just a few short weeks ago, Hayes & Yeading, and Southend United, fresh from a disappointing opening day defeat, play at League Two promotion contenders Oxford United.

At least the Daggers have a home game, but then none of their games are ever easy.  Tonight they host Plymouth Argyle.  Ooh, that’s got to hurt, a long trip to Dagenham on a Tuesday night.  Especially if they get beat.


7.25pm – A very warm welcome from an extraordinarily wet St. George’s Stadium, where East Thurrock United kick off their Ryman Premier away trips against Wealdstone.  After all the warm cloudiness today, the heavens have opened.  Luckily we’re under cover but the players are soaked through already.  Chortle.

It was certainly a lively opener on Saturday.  Two players sent off, including the keeper, coming from behind to earn a point, and enjoying the luck of conceding a late winner only for the ref to disallow it having already blown up – and giving a free kick against them!

As we learned a couple of weeks ago at Potters Bar, you just can’t tell what on earth will happen at any Rocks game.  I sometimes think manager John Coventry teaches kids during the week and then manages another load on a Saturday afternoon!

What cannot be denied is their fabulous team spirit and talent running throughout the squad.  Any other team in this league would bite your arm off to have the likes of Reiss Gilbey, Kris Newby and Sam Higgins in their line-up.

The hosts aren’t exactly slouchers either.  Striker Richard Jolley topped the league’s goalscoring charts last term and their win on Saturday reinforces the belief that the Stones will again be play-off contenders.

[audio:|titles=Wealdstone v East Thurrock Preview]

It’s going to be a cracker!  As ever, simply refresh the page every few minutes, and the usual mix of updates, MP3’s, and occasional dry wit shall be yours.


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Better Late Than Never – The Weekend Review

A day of drama at Blunts Wall Road, on both the cricket and football pitches, and Hutton take a massive step towards promotion.

This weekend’s local sports round-up is here.

[audio:|titles=Weekend Local Sports Review]

And pics of Saturday’s goings-on at New Lodge can be found by clicking on this link:



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Billericay Town v Truro City – LIVE

Billericay Town 2-1  Truro City
East Thurrock United 1-1  Kingstonian
Brentwood Town 1-1  Tilbury
Southend United 0-1  Accrington Stanley
Cheltenham Town  2-0  Dagenham & Redbridge
FULL TIME: Well, it was a slow burner on a boiling hot day, but in the end it was a cracker.  Own goal, red card, dramatic finish, ridiculous misses, this game had it.  Billericay just about deserved it but you can’t help feeling for Truro.  I wish them well.
[audio:|titles=Billericay 2-1 Truro Full Time]
Right, next up is Tuesday evening, as East Thurrock United go to Wealdstone.  Until then, enjoy the weekend, and your football
93rd min – Adenwunmi is clean through on goal but somehow puts it wide from 15 yards!
Injury time:  5 minutes of it, as another dangerous Billericay centre from the right flashes past the Truro goal
89th min – GOAL! ….. BILLERICAY TOWN 2,  Truro City 1 That’s me tempting fate again.  A run to the left byeline, a low centre, and inside the six yard box SAM LECHMERE drills home at the far post.  Liquid football!
[audio:|titles=Billericay 2-1 Truro]
87th min – You’ve missed nothing.  A lengthy delay for a Truro injury
83rd min – In a final throw of the dice, Adenwunmi replaces the impressive Osbourn.
78th min – Ooh, a late tackle stops a City forage in its tracks.  The free kick, from around 30 yards, hits the wall.
75th min – Harrison Chatting gets a generous round of applause as he’s replaced by Jared Small.
72nd min – Back come Truro and a header inside the area goes about a foot past the left hand post.
70th min – Ooh, that was close.  Harrison Chatting centres from the left, and Sam Lechmere’s shot by the near post is superbly parried away by the keeper.  Official attendance is 402.
[audio:|titles=Billericay v Truro Red Card]
67th min – Dave Collis comes on for Luke I’Anson
65th min – All City at the moment.  Corner on the right and a header just over the bar.
63rd min – The nerves are jangling amongst the New Lodge faithful.  Jake Larkins clears straight to a Truro player for the third time.  Nothing comes off it but the danger signs are there.
60th min – Billericay come forward and a cross from the left is met by a header going inches over the bar.
58th min – A real let-off for ‘Ricay.  Again.  A horribly slewed clearance inside the area from Richard Halle leaves the goal open but the Truro shot is just as horribly wide.
56th min – Billericay are in trouble now.  Jay May goes in on the Turo defender with his elbow at a free kick, after being obstructed, and is sent off.
54th min – Truro have been encouraged by that equaliser and have forced a couple of corners down the right.  Nothing clear cut but worrying times for the hosts.
48th min – GOAL! ….. Billericay Town 1, TRURO CITY 1 Blimey, game on!  The visitors break down the right, the ball gets centred, and CHRIS WILD scuffs it into his own net.  The Conference South’s leading scorer for the wrong reasons now but Truro won’t mind that.
[audio:|titles=Billericay 1-1 Truro]
4.03pm – KICK OFF! Again.
HALF TIME:  Another season but the same Billericay.  Nice football in little patches, more direct and effective for the rest of the time.  It gets results and the team plays to its strengths, and in a results orientated business, you won’t find me a particularly dissenting voice.  Billericay have been much the better team since the goal, but Truro are by no means out of it.  1-0 is just about right.
[audio:|titles=Billericay v Truro Half Time Summary]
Right, off for a Bovril and Lilt.  Laters.
43rd min – Jay May tries his luck from 25 yards and forces another parry out for a corner, which comes to noithing.
41st min – Alex Osbourn goes closer, controlling the ball on the left inside the area, and forcing a fine save from the City keeper at the near post.
40th min – Bilericay press with some neat play involving Harrison Chatting and Nathan Green on the left.  The ball is centred and a shot from Glen Poole goes just wide
35th min- Ooh, Truro miss a golden opportunity.  ‘Ricay keeper, under no pressure, kicks the ball straight at the onrushing Truro attacker, who hits the post unmarked from 15 yards.  Goodness me.
33rd min – Luke I’Anson tries to get on the act, but his chip from 20 yards drifts harmlessly wide.  No doubt about it, Billericay on top.
31st min – Even better this time.  Lovely one touch football, and Glen Poole neatly plays in Alex Osbourn inside the left hand side of the area, but he mishits horribly.  Nice stuff though.

30th min

Billericay break forward again and a nice lay back from Alex Osbourn sets up Sam Lechmere from 22 yards, who volleys over.  That’s better.

25th min

City try to get back on terms, and a dangerous run down the right results in a low centre to the area which Nathan Green clears.  At the other end, a Sam Lechmere free kick narrowly clears the trees

21st min –
GOAL! ….. BILLERICAY TOWN 1, Truro City 0

New season, same goal!  Good work from Nathan Green and Harrison Chatting on the left forces a corner.  From that, CHRIS WILD powers home a header from six yards.  Striker!

[audio:|titles=Billericay 1-0 Truro City]
18th min – Really wish I could bring you action-packed action but the teams are cancelling each other out.  The supporters decide to have a pop at the officials, presumably to keep them occupied until play livens up.
13th min – Really not too much to report on.  Quite evenly balanced, no clear cut chances.  Jake Larkins has had to make a very comfortable save at his near post but that’s about it.
8th min – A long through ball finds Alex Osbourn about 25 yards from goal, but he can’t quite control it, and the Truro keeper comfortably collects.
5th min – Whilst both sides are still settling down, I’m having a look around the ground.  The City fans behind at the Cricket End are in good voice.  The sound better than they look, mind.  Beer bellies and shirtless don’t mix.  Not with blokes, anyway.
2nd min – The first ‘What’s that for?’ from boss Craig Edwards as Jay May is pulled up for an infringement attacking down the left.
3.01pm – KICK OFF! Oh yes!
2.58pm – The teams come out to a somewhat sparse crowd.  I am genuinely surprised.
2.50pm – Team News: Billericay Town line up for life in the Conference South with:  1 – Jake Larkins.  2 – Greg Oates.  3-  Nathan Green.  4 – Luke I’Anson.  5 – Richard Halle.  6 – Chris Wild.  7 – Sam Lechmere.  8 – Glen Poole.  9 – Jay May.  10 – Alex Osbourne.  11 – Harrison Chatting.
SUBS:  Subs: 12 – Dave Collis.  14 – Jared Small.  15 – Adenwunmi.  16 – Craig Edwards.  17 – Dale Brightly.
2.45pm – Crikey, the Truro lads look big!  Anyway, whatever today’s result, I hope the team representing Cornwall’s ‘capital’ can come through their latest crisis.  We’ve seen throughout the summer the dire consequences of not paying your bills through the fate of the defunct Rangers and almost liquidated Pompey.
True, bills should be paid, but as ever it’s the punters that put their money into the club – and at this level the multitude of club volunteers, doing everything for the sheer love of the game – that suffer the most. Safe journey home, Truro, whatever happens, and fingers crossed many more trips to follow.
2.40pm – A very, very good afternoon to a sun drenched New Lodge for today’s Conference South opener.  New Lodge, new season, new league, it’s very much a brave new world for ‘Ricay, their first game at this level.
Craig Edwards has by and large kept faith with the squad that brought the club that unforgettable Ryman League title triumph, with the odd signing, such as Alex Osborn from Dagenham.
He, the team, and a bumper crowd will have every confidence they can overcome the threat posed by the Cornish outfit, who have spent the summer in turmoil, staring liquidation and the face, and arriving at Blunts Wall Road with a threadbare squad.  That could well galvanise them, though, that underdog spirit.  It could be a good ‘un today.
Elsewhere, East Thurrock start off against the same team they signed off last term with a 5-2 win against, and Brentwood Town have a tasty derby at the Arena against last season’s play-off semi-finalists Tilbury.
[audio:|titles=Billericay v Truro Preview]
As ever, keep refreshing this page every few minutes, and tune into the one and only Dave Turner on Between The Lines from 4pm, here online or on 98 FM, and this afternoon’s frolics and frivolities will be yours.
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Cricket Title Up For Grabs And Arena Hosts Tasty Derby Day Starter

For news on first day derby fireworks in prospect at The Arena, and a possible title win down Blunts Wall Road way, just click below.

[audio:|titles=Weekend Sports Preview]

If you can’t get yourself to a game on Saturday, do the next best thing and tune into Dave Turner between 4pm and 6pm for Between The Lines.

Local and national scores, local and national news, and plenty of insider gossip, including a round-up of the Broncos latest Super League match, as well as live updates from New Lodge as Billericay Town open their Conference South campaign.


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Clean Sweep In Cricket – But New Lodge Loss

With news of a great weekend for our local cricket clubs, and a mixed weekend as our football sides wrap up their pre-season, here’s the weekend’s sports round-up.

[audio:|titles=Weekend Local Sports Review]
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Billericay Town v Leiston – LIVE

Billericay Town 2-4  Leiston
FULL TIME:  And there we have it, a more than useful run-out for Billericay, and excellent result for the visitors.  Make no mistake about it, Leiston will be up there in the Ryman Premier this season.
Boss Craig Edwards, though, will know his squad have a little work to do.  Some excellent spells, but concentrations levels may well be looked it.
Anyway, it’s all be jolly good fun.  Next up will be Billericay’s opener against Truro.  Until then, enjoy the summer.
88th min – ‘Ricay try to come back with a couiple of corners on the left, they come to nothing, but only after one superb save, tipping a 15 yard shot over the bar.
85th min – GOAL! ….. Billericay Town 2,  LEISTON 4 That’s it.  The visitors have given the hosts the run-around in the second half.  Another centre from the right after a pacy attack, and tapped in on the edge of the six yard box.
80th min – Ooh, that was close.  Not to a goal but ruining my afternoon.  Leiston boot the ball out after some home pressure, and the ball ends about 3 inches away from the netbook.  If it had hit it, forget the football, he’d have been for the high jump.  Harumph.
75th min – Leiston have certainly had the better of the exchanges but Billericay break with supersub Junior Dadson.  He chases a lost cause, gets to bye line inside the area on the left, but his low hard centre across goal is cleared.
68th min – That really should have been 4-2.   The visitors delightfully switch play to the right again, it gets centred into the six yard box, but the final touch goes a foot wide of the far post.  Great football though.
65th min – GOAL! ….. Billericay Town 2,  LEISTON 3 The warnings haven’t been heeded.  A breka this time on the left.  It’s centred and the visiting forward smacks it home from 10 yards.  It was the number 10, too, but didn’t catch the name as my hearing’s a bit iffy.
64th min – Lots of shouting, lots of effort, nothing further created from either side.  The first massive shout of “maaaaaaaaaaaaan onnnnnnnnnnnnnnn!” from a keeper has been heard though.
59th min – Ooh, that was a glorious chance.  The visitors this time attack down the right, and their striker bears down on goal, inside the area.  He shoots towards the near post, though, and Dale Brightly saves.

I like the trees

57th min – But ooh, Leiston break on the left and their low centre flashes across the face of goal.  Anybody’s game, this.
55th min – Ooh, that was close too.  A Billericay free kick, central position, 25 yards out.
54th min – Nothing clear cut, very competitive, but no chances created.  Come on, fate, I’ve tempted you.
4pm – KICK OFF! Again
HALF TIME:  And the dust settles on a cracking first half.  Really competitive and just what Blues boss Craig Edwards would want, seeing where they are up to speed and where they need to work a bit more on.  Leiston are clearly a decent side too.
Right, time for a Bovril and a bland salad.  Laters.
43rd min – Elsewhere, it’s FA Cup day.  Not strictly local, with Yarmouth beating Barkingside, but one of those sides could face East Thurrock United in a later round.  And Great Wakering Rovers lead at Woodbridge.
39th min – GOAL! ….. BILLERICAY TOWN 2,  Leiston 2 You can’t get any more dangerous than that!  Another centre in from the left and this time JAY MAY gets on the end of it and makes no mistake from 8 yards out.  A crackerjack of a game!
38th min – Ooh ooh!  That was even more dangerous.  Billericay get a corner on the left, and Rob Swaine finally gets a header in at the near post, but it flashes agonisingly across the face of the goal and out.
36th min – Ooh, that was dangerous.  Leiston beat the offside trap with a long ball upfield.  Chris Wild, though, retrieves the situation and calmly heads back to Dale Brightly.
31st min – GOAL! ….. Billericay Town 1,  LEISTON 2 And a cracker it was too.  It all came from heavily Billericay pressure too.  They broke out superbly, and RHYS HENRY grabbed his second goal of the afternoon with a cracking strike just inside the area.
29th min – Harrison Chatting is as nippy as ever.  He chased down a Leiston back-pass, and turned a comfortable kick into a last second jink away from danger.

Born to be Wild

27th min – Play resumes with the Blues back on the attack and a shot from 20 yards in a central position goes narrowly wide of the right hand post.  That’s better.
23rd min – Play is stopped while  Lechmere is treated for a knock.  The hugantic Chris Wild takes a drink.  I’ll show you the pic soon but I needed to readjust the height lens thingy on my phone.
20th min – Leiston are looking sharp.  Their left back makes a surging run to the ‘Ricay bye-line, turns the defender inside out, but his low centre thankfully evades the two onrushing forwards.  Good stuff though.
17th min – The visitors come forward and have a crack themselves from the edge of the area but Dale Brightly makes a comfortable save.
13th min – GOAL ….. BILLERICAY TOWN 1,  Leiston 1 Striker!  Leiston again defend a set piece well, but GLEN POOLE gets the ball around 22 yards out, and hits a superb low drive into the bottom right hand corner of the net.  Proper game this!
11th min – My, that was a loud burp from Greg Oates.  Every one of the hundred or so paying punters heard that one.
8th min – The hosts, attacking the Blunts Wall Road End goal, have got over that initial shock and are pressing, but nothing clear cut created.  The Ryman One North champions have done theit homework and defending set pieces well.
3rd min – GOAL! ….. Billericay Town 0,  LEISTON 1 I said it’d be a good run-out but didn’t realise it’d be that tough.  The New Lodge back four hesitate inside their own area, and pay for it when Dale Brightly is lobbed from about 10 yards.  Oops
2nd min – Early pressure from Billericay results in a free kick from about 25 yards out in a central position.  But Glen Poole’s shot comes off the wall and is subsequently defended easily
3.00pm – KICK OFF!  Oh yes!
2.58pm – The team come out to the usual Rocky theme and a fairly paltry crowd.
2.55pm – Due to the wonders of modern technology, meaning the patchy broadband connection and me bringing the wrong lead along, audio reports could well be scarce.  That’s a Brucey bonus for you.
Anyway, here’s the ‘Ricay team:  Brightly, Oates, Obamwonyi, Radley, Swaine(c), Wild, Lechmere, Poole, May, Osbourne, Chatting.
2.45pm – Ooh, my, it’s hot, and not just on the pitch.  A very warm, nay boiling, welcome to a sun drenched New Lodge where Billericay Town will be winding their pre-season programme down against a decent looking Leiston.
Today’s visitors had a memorable 2011/12, winning the Ryman One North title and promotion to the Premier division into the bargain.  It should be a good test.
Billericay, of course, are no strangers to be tested by East Anglian outfits, having come away from Lowestoft Town last week with a 1-0 win.  Predictably, it was a Rob Swaine header from a free kick!
But why not play to your strengths?  There was talk amongst other clubs supporters about the style of both Billericay and Hornchurch’s play, but if you have a group of players who are more effective at set pieces than others, why not use that advantage?  And after all, the likes of Harrison Chatting show that ‘Ricay clearly have gifted footballers in their ranks.
Anyhow, off my soapbox I get!  Just keep refreshing this page every few minutes, and tune into the wonderful Dave Turner on Between The Lines from 4pm –  online, or via your tune-in radio app,  or on 98FM – and this afternoon’s festivities will be brought to your very eyes and ears.  Good innit.
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Your Local Sport This Weekend

Sure, we still may be in the grip of Olympic fever – of the gold variety, of course – but if you fancy getting a bit of fresh air and follow your local sides, here’s what they are up to and where.

[audio:|titles=Sports Preview For The Weekend]



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Potters Bar Town v East Thurrock United – LIVE

Potters Bar Town  3-4  East Thurrock United

Canvey Island  1-1  Brentwood Town


FULL TIME:  At times it was like a full blooded league fixture, with plenty of swears at the ref, which by definition made it fun.  The Rocks had a decent run-out, played some good stuff at times, and John Coventry will be fully aware which of his players still have some work to do before next week’s opener.

Elsewhere, a very good result for Brentwood Town, drawing away at Canvey, and only then denied at the death.  Things are looking good at the Arena.

Right, time for home.  Next up is Billericay v Leiston on Saturday.  Until then, enjoy the summer, and the golds.


83rd min – East Thurrock are now in full control of the situation, coming forward without creating anything dangerous.  Yes, I’m trying to tempt fate, and a home goal, to make it fun.

77th min – GOAL! ….. Potters Bar Town 2,  EAST THURROCK UNITED 4 Huzzah and hurrah!  Another through ball and a firm shot from just inside the area appears to have made the game safe.  Perhaps.

73rd min – Now it’s gone back to football and end-to-end stuff.  Some nice passing from Potters Bar ends in a desperately defended scramble.  Then the Rocks go downfield and create similar mayhem from a couple of corner.  Liquid football.

A field, a ball, a bulb or two, and 22 idiots.

70th min – Just been a lot of shouts and argiung.  The Rocks players are fuming at a penalty not given.  So what?  It’s just a friendly, guys, you have to deal with decisions going against you during the season, why get het up now?

66th min – GOAL! ….. POTTERS BAR TOWN 3,  East Thurrock United 3 Hey, now hang on!  The ref has over-ruled the linesman and given the goal.   Imagine if that had happened in ’66, the lino being over-ruled?  The fact it was a perfectly good goal is immaterial.

65th min – Controversy as the home side believe they’ve got an equaliser after a shot from a tight angle inside the area.  The linesman has his flag up, though, and it’s chalked off, much to the dismay of the hosts.  Chortle.

60th min – GOAL! ….. Potters Bar Town 2,  EAST THURROCK UNITED 3 What is it about me watching second half comebacks from the dead.  A through ball, and SAM HIGGINS lobs the keeper.  They’ll be dancing in the street of Rookery Hill at that one.

58th min – GOAL! ….. Potters Bar Town 2,  EAST THURROCK UNITED 2 Eat my goal!  KRIS NEWBY gets the ball on the right hand edge of the area, turns inside and shoots home.

Vid Clip: Rocks Reduce Arrears

54th min – GOAL! ….. Potters Bar 2,  EAST THURROCK UNITED 1 Back in it.  An obvious foul, and a penalty into the roof of the net.  That’s how to take them, England and GB.  Striker!

52nd min – The Rocks assume their attacking, to no avail as yet.  One refereeing decision, for a foul on the Potters goalie, ends in a pottymouth shout of frustration.

[audio:|titles=HT Potters Bar 2-0 ETU]

8.46pm – Kick Off! Blimey, they’re back early.


HALF TIME: Apologies for the brief loss of service.  You missed a couple of Rocks efforts, Kye Ruel trying to dribble around the keeper but being crowded out, and a volley hitting the crossbar but going over.  When your luck’s out, so are you results generally.

View from the press box. Smears included free of charge.

Never mind, it was overall a good first half performance.  One defensive error and one pitch bobble are the only negatives.  And still 45 electrifying minutes to go.

Right, off for a Bovril and a brolly.  Laters.



37th min – GOAL! ….. POTTERS BAR TOWN 2,  East Thurrock United 0 This is silly!  The hosts have had just two shots!  This time, the attempt at goal looks an easy one to save, but the ball hits a divot and over the keeper’s despairing hand.  Ho hum.

36th min – The Rocks respond, and Kris Newby’s clever through ball finds Sam Higgins, whose shot just inside the area is parried for a corner.

33rd min – GOAL! ….. POTTERS BAR TOWN 1,  East Thurrock United 0 We knew it was coming, didn’t we!  A high punt to the edge of the area, keeper and defender hesitate, let the ball bounce, and the hosts number 7 puts it in from around 15 yards.  Blimey.

32nd min – The first real attack of any note from Potters Bar.  A nice, curling shot from about 20 yards goes narrowly past the right hand post.

27th min – And, at last, we have our first moan at the ref.  A midfielder from the hosts says “Reffffffff, which way are you gonna give it?” after a perfectly fair tackle, with everyone else playing on.  Ooh, the rain, it raineth again.

23rd min – Oof, that was close.  From the corner on the left, Newby gets in another shot at goal.  The keeper doesn’t save it, the ball simply rebounds off him without him knowing anything about it.

22nd min – Unofficial attendance is 36.  And whilst I was counting, Kris Newby fired in a stinging shot inside the area that Potters Bar keeper Ed Thomson did well to parry for a corner.

18th min – Same story, East Thurrock United attack, Potters Bar Town defend, with their keeper making a decent save, coming out to thwart a one-on-one on the edge of the area.

The ball magnet is that way, mate.

13th min – Another surging visitors attack (pic coming up) results in another decent point blank save.  With yellow balls, I might add, this evening.

8th min – Nothing clear cut but the Rocks have settled well.  All the regulars are playing such as Kris Newby, Kye Ruel, Reiss Gilbey and Ryan Sammons.  Who needs team sheets when you have such memorable mugshots as those?

3rd min – Almost the perfect start for East Thurrock.  Some nice play from midfield, stroking the ball around well, which results in a cracking shot just inside area on the right which the home keeper does well to parry clear.  Encouraging in the gloom.

7.48pm – KICK OFF! Oh yes!


7.40pm – A belated welcome to the South Mimms Travel Stadium, home of the one and only Potters Bar Town FC, where East Thurrock United continue their pre-season preparations.

2011/12 was certainly one to remember for the Rocks.  An epic FA Cup run, culminating in their blaze of glory departure in front of the nation’s tv cameras, a League Cup Final appearance, and a record club total in the Premier Division, earning them the Ryman League Team of the Season Award.

That, however, is something John Coventry’s boys want to build on rather than consider it a peak.  Tonight should be a good test of which of his current squad are up to snuff yet.  Potters Bar Town are quick, with a couple of skillful players, and always hard to beat.  An intriguing evening is assured.

Just refresh this page every few minutes and tonight’s festivities shall unfold.


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This Weekend’s Sporting Action

Who needs the Olympics when there’s so much on our own doorstep going on?

If you fancy watching some live cricket or football, here’s where to check it out.

[audio:|titles=Weekend Sports Preview 27 July]
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Weekend Sports Review

With news on close finishes at the cricket, and mixed fortunes for our football sides, just click below.

[audio:|titles=Weekend Sports Review]

Between The Lines on Saturday featured Super League action as bottom side London Broncos took on top dogs Wigan Warriors.  If you missed an eventful afternoon at the Stoop, here’s what happened.

[audio:|titles=Broncos v Warriors]

Next up, fingers crossed, should be tomorrow’s clash between East Thurrock United and Billericay Town.  No rest for the wicked, so they say ….!

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The Weekend’s Cricket & Football

Fancy watching a bit of local action?  No problem!  Here’s this weekend’s schedule.

[audio:|titles=Fixtures Preview 20 Jul 2012]

(Note:  Now confirmed that East Thurrock United v AFC Hornchurch has been postponed and rearranged for Thursday 26 July)

Don’t worry, though, if you can’t make it.  Between The Lines will keep you on the ball with both local and national sport each and every Saturday afternoon.  This weekend’s offering includes London Broncos live Super League updates amongst other goodies.  So join Steve from 4pm this Saturday for all your sports action!

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Billericay Town’s Pre-Season Fixtures

Rain permitting, of course!

After a run-out for trialists in their 5-2 win over Waltham Forest, the New Lodge outfit have had their pre-season severely disrupted by the, ahem, changeable weather conditions this summer.   Matches at Great Wakering Rovers and Heybridge Swifts have fallen foul of the weather.

It’s a vital time for Craig Edwards’ side, too, with a tough Conference South season ahead of them, so gaining match fitness and team spirit after the summer break is that much more vital.

Never fear, though, for Billericay Town still have plenty of friendlies to play before the big kick-off,  If you fancy seeing your local Conference South club in pre-season action, here’s their upcoming games:


Saturday 21st July
Canvey Island (Away)

Tuesday 24th July
East Thurrock United (Away)

Saturday 28th July
Wingate & Finchley (Home)

Tuesday 31st July
Enfield Town (Home)

Saturday 4th August
Lowestoft Town (Away)

Saturday 11th August
Leiston (Home)

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