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Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Video of the week

A new feature of the blog will my Youtube video of the week. Every week i will trawl through the goldmine that is Youtube and share with you the results of my searches every Wednesday. First up the battle to become the 2012 best female at the Brit awards.  This is one of the best parody's i have seen for a while.Hope you
all enjoy it as much as i did.
a.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Notts Cup Quarter Finals preview and reaction

Coronation Park. Home of Notts Senior Cup holders Eastwood Town FC
From Teversall to Newark, Harworth to Keyworth, their is only one football topic on the mind of Nottinghamshire football fans. Its not who the next England manager will be, nor is it the handshake scandal, or who will win the Premiership, or even the fact that there could be a Nottingham derby in League One next season. No my friends, the hot topic everybody that anybody who is anybody is talking about is the draw for the quarter finals of the Nottinghamshire Senior Cup.

Quarter Final draw

Greenwood Meadows v Clifton FC
Newark Town v Retford United
Hucknall Town v Eastwood Town
Carlton Town v Rainworth Miners Welfare

While you can't take any club lightly i am sure Retford will be happy to have drawn the lowest ranked side left in the competition (just as they did in the last round) After beating Dunkirk Greenwood have been rewarded with another local derby against a side just up the road from them Its a tie that both sides will be happy with and both will be thinking they have a great chance of making the semi finals. One the other hand neither Hucknall or Eastwood would have been over the moon about facing each other in what is the tie of the round. Eastwood have dominated this competition for the last few years but they are a shadow of the side that won the cup for the last two seasons. Hucknall are going well in the Evo Stick divison one south and will fancy their chances to cause an upset over their higher ranked visitors. The final tie sees a match up between two sides at opposite ends of the Evo stick division one south. Carlton are in the middle of a promotion race while Rainworth are third bottom.
We should be heading out to watch Retford take on Newark Town and will hopefully see the badgers make the semi finals. My tips for the semi finals (for what its worth) are Greenwood, Retford, Hucknall, and Carlton.


Newark Town FC

Gainsborough Trinity 0-1 Harrogate Town

Roll up Roll up!
Over the past few seasons i don't think i have ever seen Gainsborough Trinity play well. This time however i was optimistic that i would end my run of seeing poor performances. The Blues are having their best season for a long, long time and with a new stadium on the horizon things are really looking up for the Blues. Brian Little left the club after a handful of games and since then the club hasn't looked back. Little's assistant Steve Housham took the reigns and the club has spent most of the season in or around the playoff positions. Hyde United, helped by the cash Manchester City have pumped into the club in return for playing their reserve games at Hyde are running away with the championship but the playoff positions are very much up for grabs. Gainsborough themselves have spent a fair bit of cash, something that is making the fenland muppets from Boston United rather jealous and long may it continue. It wasn't so long ago that Boston were splashing cash left, right, and centre. The difference between the two clubs is the fact that Gainsborough's cash is real. Know your role Boston, know your role. Jealousy is a terrible thing chaps.
Trinity do have plans for a new 4,000 stadium, but have beefed up the segregation at the Northholme to Blue Square Premier standard although i think its only been used twice this season when Halifax and Boston visited. There is a very real possibility that Gainsborough could lock horns with Lincoln next year (at either step 1 or step 2) If it did happen then it would be a great atmosphere. Gainsborough were a football league club up until the 1920s and the chairman has plans to for the club to return to that lofty height. Whether they can return to the league is debatable but they can certainly become an establish BSP club.  We arrived in good time and spent the pre match time in the excellent blues club which was doing a roaring trade. Chelsea's latest struggle was on the TV screens as they scrapped to a 1-1 draw with Championship side Birmingham City at home in the FA Cup.  As i was "offline" at the time i had no idea what colours Harrogate play in. In any case i wore my black and gold Pittsburgh Steelers scarf and woolly hat set. Harrogate's colours? Yep black and gold. Nice one Adam. While in the club bar we bagged the programme for £2.50 and it was a vast improvement for previous years efforts.

Today was also a bit of an ex Imps reunion. The visitors are managed by former City defender Simon Weaver who was a key component of City's defence in the 2002/03 playoff season. In the Harrogate squad is former City squad player Matt Bloomer; a player who always did a steady job for City when called upon (bar one home game against Wycombe)
Trinity normally have a former Imp or two on their books but they seem to have surpassed themselves this time around as they have Kevin Sandwith, Lee Ridley, Leon Mettam, Paul Conner, Adam Watts, and Baz's all time favourite Imp Shane Clarke at the club.

This will be one of the shortest match reports that i write this season. Trinty hadn't had a game for two weeks and it showed. The only goal of the game came just after half time when Harrogate took advantage of some slack defending and scored through Rob Youhill when he beat the keeper at the near post. There was very little goal mouth action from either side and when either side looked as if they might just be getting into their stride the ref ruined it by being way too whistle happy for my liking.

FT Gainsborough Trinity 0-1 Harrogate Town

So my search to witness a decent Gainsborough performance continues. Despite this setback the mid to long term future looks bright for the club. We have decided that should Trinity make the playoffs (and they should) we will try to take in both games. Lets just hope i am not some kind of jinx on them or something.
Elsewhere Lincoln conceded a 93rd minute equaliser away at Kidderminster Harriers; 1-1 being the final score. I would have snapped your hand off if you had offered me a point before the game so i am not too unhappy with the point. It would nice for us to score a last minute winner again sometime though. Well any winning Imps goal would be good right now.

Sad fact of the day
I have now witnessed league matches at every step of the pyramid this season right the way through from Step 7 to Step 1. Its some kind of achievement i suppose.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Lincoln City 3-3 Braintree Town

who says romance is dead?
Valentines day. A day for spending with your nearest and dearest, the love of your life. So it made perfect sense to go and watch Lincoln City take on Braintree Town in the Blue Square Bet prem. Only two of the Retford Imps made it to the game with Felice missing in action as it were. The word on the street was that he had taken his good lady for a romantic Happy meal for two in Markham Moor MacDonalds dressed in an all white suit very similar to that worn by the early nineties WWF star Brother Love. Take a look at the video below starring Brother Love and you will get a good idea how he was dressed (allegedly of course). I just hope he didn't get BBQ sauce over his white slip on shoes. He did have on a red shirt though so at least he was wearing City colours. So fair play to Del boy for that.
  Whilst men all over the world were sitting uncomfortably in restaurants, paying about 30% more for a meal for two than you would any other day of the year listening to mushy music, Baz and myself tucked into our favourite pre match meal. That being a large mixed Donner Kebab in the Topkapi Kebab shop on Lincoln highstreet. Whilst we munched our food we watched a few music videos on the plasma screen. The one that really caught Baz's eye was Rizzle Kicks latest work "Mama do the hump". I was a little unsure of its musical quality so i texted Felice to see if he had any views on their work. He didn't reply so maybe the Happy Meals had done their job and he scored off the pitch?
In the return match in August, City lost 1-0 and were truly dreadful. Braintree may be one of the smaller sides in the division but they are also one of the most well drilled and organised. Going into the game they sat comfortably in midtable and have had some impressive results this campaign. A 5-0 win over Grimsby being one of the highlights. As we entered the stadium the first thing that struck you was the fact that it was going to be a low crowd in. Clearly Felice wasn't the only one under the thumb., and more fool those who did stay away as this game pretty much had everything.
Braintree were very fast out of the traps and created a decent chance within 20 seconds of the game starting which brought a decent save from Anyon in the Lincoln goal. Anyon then booted the ball down field which new signing Jefferson Louis latched onto and headed into the goal to give the Imps the lead inside the first minute. A dream debut moment for the latest international player to wear the red and white stripes of Lincoln City. Braintree didn't lose their heads at going behind early as lesser sides would have done and continued with their short sharp passing around the City box, a tactic that was paying them dividends as City were chasing shadows. They werent behind for long as Jai Reeson finished of a decent move with a smart finish from inside the City box. 1-1 and only four minutes gone. The tone of the game had been set and it looked like both sides had decided that attack was the best form of defence. Quite how no more goals were scored in the first half is some what of a mystery.
The second half was even more open. City started off on the front food penning the Iron back in their own half. City were unable to make their dominance count though and were hit with a sucker punch in the 54th minute when Reeson got his second of the game when his corner flew straight in leaving Anyon rather red faced. Just as Bratintree had done earlier in the game the Imps managed to hit straight back. When Tyrone Thompson first joined the club i wasn't impressed but he has slowly won me round and seems to be playing with much more confidence. A minute after City had gone behind he unleashed a shot from about 25 yards out which took a slight deflection and looped into the top corner of the visitors goal. The game was now real end to end stuff with Lincoln just about shading the contest.
Braintree looked like they had got the three points when they took the lead in the 87th minute. They were awarded a free kick just outside the penalty box which was curled low around the wall. Anyon did manage to get a hand to it but instead instead of pushing it round the post he pushed it into the path of Iron striker Assombolonga who made little mistake from close range. The 24 fans in the away section went mental (and fair play to them for making the journey; true die hards) City weren't finished however and hit back in added time at the end of the game when sub Louis Almond on loan from Blackpool buried the equaliser from a tight angle following a City corner. There was still time for even more late drama as Braintree were reduced to ten men and then had what looked like a very good claim for a penalty turned down with almost the last kick of the game. It was at the other end of the pitch to us but the pundits in BBC Lincolshire seemed to think it looked like a penalty. Of course i was disappointed that City didn't win the game. I always am but if we are going to draw then this is the way to do it. Both sides were going for the three points and it was a thoroughly entertaining match and watching Lincoln over the last few seasons i haven't been able to say that very often. And to think some folk missed it for a Happy meal. I did ask my other half if she wanted to attend the match tonight but she refused. Well after a great pre match kebab, and six goal thriller who's laughing now eh women?
Add caption

Sunday, 26 February 2012

I am back!

I am back folks! Well in truth i have never been away as such. My lack of blogging activity is down to the fact that my Internet access has been stopped due to a damaged modem power cable. In most normal households an incident like this would normally be down to maybe a trapping the wire under something and damaging it or just general ware and tear. But not in my humble abode. Upon inspection of the afore mentioned wire it became clear that the wire had been chewed extensively. In fact looking at the amount of damage on the wire i am amazed that it lasted as long as it did. Now that i had found out why it was damaged the next step was to try and find the suspect or in this case suspects. Which didn't take to long to work out; here is a picture of the suspects all looking rather shifty with guilty faces.
hear no evil,see no evil,speak no evil!
Over the past couple of weeks I have seen a very entertaining 3-3 draw between Lincoln and Braintree. A crap game between Gainsborough Trinity and Harrogate Town which saw a 0-1 win for the away side, and yesterday I saw the 1-1 draw between Lincoln City and AFC Telford. All these will be added over the next two days or so. Plus some other stuff so its going to be a busy few days on this blog folks.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Game off (again)

Lincolns away trip at Hayes and Yeading had been postponed due to the crappy weather we have been having here in Great Britain at the moment. Lets hope we get some sunshine and it gets a tad warmer soon. It will be a rare weekend away without live sport for me so i will spent Saturday in various watering holes in Retford. I may well join the plastic fans brigade for the Manchester United v Merseyside Red Sox game and then just go with the flow. I need to find something to write about soon! The next game i will be doing (If its on that is) will be the Imps home match this Tuesday against Braintree Town. This is Red five,I am heading to the pub now Red leader.Over and out.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Notts going anywhere tonight

The Nottinghamshire coat of arms.
Tonight we had planned to visit Cannon Park to watch Retford United start their Nottinghamshire senior cup campaign against the lowest ranked side still left in the competition Wollaton FC. However due to the snow still lingering around the game has been called off. Retford however wasn't the only game to fail to go ahead as you can see Below.

Nottinghamshire senior cup third round draw

Arnold Town  P-P Carlton Town
Greenwood Meadows P-P Dunkirk
Sutton Town AFC P-P Eastwood Town
Hucknall Town P-P Gedling Miners Welfare
Basford United P-P Rainworth Miners Welfare
Retford United P-P Wollaton
Newark Town P-P Bilborough Pelican
Clifton v Thoresby P-P Colliery Welfare

I enjoy the Notts cup and it is a competition that has a long and proud history in local football. However over the past 4-5 years it has become a little bit stale due to the fact that Eastwood Town have dominated it. The Badgers have won six from the last eight editions and been runners up in the other two. This season though Eastwood are having a poor season and are rock bottom of the Blue Square North. Their poor form will give sides like Hucknall Town and last years runners up Carlton Town belief that it could well be their turn to lift the famous trophy this time around. Step 5 sides Retford United (winners in 2008/09) and Dunkirk will also fancy themselves to have a decent run given a kind draw. I will stick my neck out and predict that Carlton Town will avenge last seasons defeat where they simply froze on the night and lift the trophy. The date of the final is yet to be confirmed on the Notts FA website as is the location for the final. I for one hope that it held at Meadow Lane. Although last seasons final at Field Mill was ok, it somehow didn't quite feel right. Nottingham Forest were the first winners of the cup back in the 1883/84 season and judging by their league form this time around it looks as if they are determined to get to a level when they can enter it again. It would be great to have the final at the City ground but i can't see Forest agreeing to it. I prefer Meadow Lane anyway. Its nearer to Hooters for a start.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Well played New York

Just a quick post to congratulate the New York Giants on their Superbowl win over the New England Patriots last night. It was a great game to watch and i thoroughly enjoyed it. He was also great to see Tom Brady and co get their arse handed to them. I am looking forward to next season already.

Nottingham Panthers 6 -2 Dundee Stars

Bit of a change of plan today. Originally i was going to take in the Imps home match with Braintree Town. This game was brought froward from the 14th of February as both sides had a blank weekend due to neither club having any interest in the FA Trophy. Now it looks as if the game will be moved back to Valentines day. So that gets all Imps fans out of paying for an overpriced meal that evening, see there is always a plus side Imps fans. Instead of taking your better half out for a meal, offer to take her down the Bank with a romantic pre match meal of large doner kebab with all the sauces washed down with a good couple of pints of beer, and if she doesn't appreciate that then she really doesn't know how lucky she is!

With the Imps having a day off i had a few choices; 1)Sit in and watch the rugga (Not going to happen!) 2) sit at home and drink. or 3) watch the Nottingham Panthers. Given the three choices option three was by far the most appealing , or so i thought. The weather forecast had given out snow but as hardened Retford folk we didn't let that put us off, besides we rarely get bad snow here in North Nottinghamshire do we?

We left Retford just after 3.30pm and just as the snow began to fall. It wasn't very heavy and it didn't look like it was going to settle. As we got to the outskirts of Nottingham however the snow became much heavier and i started to think that spending a day in the pub may well have been the better option after all. We hadn't bought tickets before the game, but seeing how Dundee isn't the most attractive opposition, we knew that there would be plenty of tickets available for purchase on the door. The main plus of buying on the door is that you save £3 per ticket by paying cash for them, since if you pre order online you get stung for an "administration" charge. You have to pay the charge even if you print you tickets out at home. Robbing twats is the phrase i am looking for.
After purchasing the tickets we headed to the chipshop for the normal pre match meal of donner meat and chips. The snow was starting to settle quite heavily now. Normally there are quite a few fans milling around the arena but today it was dead. May by they had done the sensible thing and stayed in the pubs.
Instead of going to the pub pre match we headed to the Arena bar; two cokes came in £4.60. On the Olympic rink outside the bar a youth match was going on between the Nottingham Cougars and the Solihull Barons. It seems youth games are played in three periods of 15 minutes so we watched the first two. The Nottingham side was coasting it 6-0 when we left. Given that this was being played it seemed strange to me that more Panthers fans had stayed in the bar to watch the Rugby on the large screen even though you could take your drinks outside to watch the hockey. Each to their own though i suppose.

I fit Panthers games around Lincoln ones and this season it has worked out that i have seen the Panthers take on the Stars three times now this season. Over the course of the season though it would seem that the Stars have gone backwards, and going into this game they were bottom of the Elite league. On their last two visits to Nottingham they have lost 6-0 and 5-4. They were soon on the back foot in this game as the Panthers dominated from the off and after missing several good chances strolled into a two goal lead. Then just as it was starting to look comfortable for the Panthers, Dundee hit back to make it 2-1. Thankfully the Panthers scored a third with about 30 seconds left to play at the end of the 1st to give the scoreline a more realistic look.
The Panthers added a fourth goal in the second period which looked like it had made the game safe. Again they missed plenty of chances and will have to sharpen up for next weeks double header against the league leaders the Belfast Giants. The weather outside was getting worse so we decided to skip the third period and head home before it got even worse. The snow outside was at least a couple of inches thick. Nottingam City transport and cancelled all buses but thankfully the trams were still running. The tram journey back to the carpark took longer than normal due to the fact we got stuck behind a couple of cars that were struggling to make it up the hills in Nottingham and generally skidding about all over the place.
The roads around Nottingham were pretty shitty so we decided to head back via the M1, M18, and A1, and although it took alot longer than normal we made it back safely thanks to some great driving from the missus and navigating from myself. Maybe next time the weatherman says it will snow we will stay at home.

In other Panthers news we now know that we will face the Belfast Giants in the Challenge Cup final after they dispatched the Cardiff Devils 5-3 on aggregate. The Panthers have won the last two Challenge Cups and defeated Belfast in the final last year. The league looks beyond the Panthers where as Belfast are in the thick of the title race so the pressure is on Nottingham to claim some silverware.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Harworth C.I 1-0 Belper United

Just one midweek game this week and it was the coldest night of the season so far. By and large we have been lucky with the weather with very few local games being called off. So i suppose we shouldn't grumble about a spell of chilly weather.
On the menu tonight, a Central Midlands League cup 2nd round replay. Harworth are in midtable in the northern section of the CML with Belper, who are making their debut at this level this season are midtable in the southern section. Despite the freezing temperatures the clubhouse was quite full with music playing out full blast and the African cup of nations on the TV screens. I thought that it would be a low crowd tonight but the game seemed to have attracted quite a few neutral fans/Groundhoppers. It was £3 entrance on the gate and £1 for a programme. Top marks to Harworth for producing a programme and very good it was too.


As it was dark i didn't get any decent pictures of the ground but it has been tided up a bit since i last saw a game here. The stand behind the goal has been removed and the old turnstile block pulled down. The main stand behind the dugouts is still here and its the best place to view the game from as it is slightly elevated. There is hard standing along the touchline where the stand is placed. All in all its one of the better grounds on the Central Midlands circuit. Here is a pic of the main stand from the last time i was here in glorious sunshine.
As it was cold we left it till just before kick off before entering the stadium. The one thing that you don't want on a night like this is extra time but for a long time it looked like we may well just get that. In the first half both sides wasted decent chances with Harworth just about shading it. Although it was goalless i wasn't too worried as i expected Harworth to step it up in the second half and win by a couple of goals. However after they continued to waste chance after chance myself and many of the folk around us started to get the dreaded feeling that another half an hours "entertainment" was on the way.
Then 5 minutes or so later the homeside were awarded a penalty which they duly dispatched. It did look a tad on the soft side but to be honest we had all got to the point that we weren't really bothered who scored as long as somebody did so we could all get home.
Belper then threw everything they had at Harworth to the point that they even sent their Keeper up for a late corner. Then came the moment of controversy when it appeared that the ball hit a Harworth defender on the arm as he cleared the ball however the ref just waved away their protests. Harworth almost rubbed more salt in Belper's wounds as the wasted the breakaway and hit the post with the keeper still making his way back from the corner.

At the end of the game you could see that the Belper Unted bench felt very hard done by with the two penalty decisions that went against them. I could understand their anger but even so their constant verbal abuse of the referee as (who had stepped in to do the game at the last minute) as he left the pitch was in my view well out of line and totally uncalled for. Not only that but for me it reflected very badly on the management and the club as a whole. In short i can't see many people busting a gut to visit Belper United. Some days decisions go for you, some they don't. That's football fellas.

All in all it was a decent night out good company and an above average game given the conditions. Most folk their seemed to enjoy themselves apart from some muppet strutting round in a Burton Albion coat moaning about pretty much everything from the ref, to the weather, to whinging that he couldn't find any milk for his tea in the clubhouse. Plenty of people did have hot drinks and seemed to be enjoying them. Me thinks we have a leading contender for the "Tool of the season" section in this blogs end of season awards.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Groundhog day 2012

SIX MORE WEEKS OF WINTER!!!

One of the highpoints of the year for me; Groundhog day. After the early spring correctly predicted by Punxsutawney Phil last year it was always odds on that we would get six more weeks of winter and so it proved. Check out his prediction in front off 30,000 plus of his faithful followers

I hope you will all join me in raising a glass to the worlds most famous living rodent. Now off to the pub to celebrate!! I now promise i will try not to go on about Groundhog day for at least ermmm two months or so.
signed picture of Phil!!

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Stamford 3-2 Sutton Coldfield Town

My sporting day got off to a dreadful start today and went downhill from there. The one high point of the day was the chance to tick off a new ground and watch a decent match between two sides chasing the playoff places in the Evo Stick division one south (Step 4)
After a decent all day drinking session in Nottingham yesterday i spent the morning following the second test match between Pakistan and England. England were set a very modest 145 to win but managed to collapse and were skittled out for 72 meaning we are 2-0 down in the series with only one match still to play. Plenty for the best team in the world to think about and much improvement to be made to avoid a 3-0 whitewash there is.
Stamford is in the South of Lincolnshire and is about an hour from Retford. Their ground, the wonderfully named "Premier Kitchen Arena", is just off the motorway and right next to the train station. The ground is set in a quite scenic location and looks over the town. From the ground you get a view of 5 churches not many football clubs can make a claim like that can they? It was £8 entry fee and £1.80 for a programme which was a decent enough read. We had plenty of time to kill before kick off so we headed straight into the club bar. As i was still feeling rough from the night before i was only drinking Coke. The clubhouse is large enough with plenty of old pennants from across non league football on the walls. There is even a picture of local hero darts player Martin "Wolfie" Adams when he played an exhibition here. From the clubhouse you get a very good view of the pitch. The Liverpool v Manchester United FA Cup match was on TV but i found watching the players warm up/reading the programme/anything else really much more interesting that watching that. I believe Liverpool won, but a rats arse i do not give.
The ground is quite old fashioned and i must say that i quite like it. After you enter the ground through the turnstiles you enter the main stand where the programmes are on sale on a small table on the righthand side. The clubhouse is to the right of the stand. The entrance of which is round the back of the building. There is a hatch in the clubhouse that sells food and stuff in one end and although i didn't eat anything the food looked and smelt quite good. I nipped out to the clubshop and bought a club badge for £3.50. Stamford have a pretty smart club crest but sadly this isn't on this seasons metal badges which is a shame as it is one of the better designed club crests. Instead the badge on sale has a gold football in the middle with Stamford FC written around it. The shop is quite good with loads of club badges from various clubs and lots of boxes of old programmes from a wide range of clubs, a hoppers paradise if you will. It was too cold for me though so i resisted the temptation to rummage and headed back to the warmth of the bar and my soft drinks. The bloke on the gate had told us that this was the oldest football ground in England but i am sure that Hallam FC would have something to say about that.
It would appear that Grantham Town are the clear favourites to win the Evo stick south with only really Carlton Town in with a chance of stopping them. The battle for the playoffs though is wide open however. Before kick off Stamford sat in the last playoff place with the visitors two points and one place behind having played one game more. The "Daniels" started the season with former caretaker manager Simon Clarke in charge but he left a month or so into the season to take over the reigns at Worksop Town. The team seem to have been unaffected by this and pushed on under former Hucknall and Carlton Town gaffer Tommy Brookbanks. I didn't recognise any of the names on the teamsheet for either side apart from the Sutton Coldfield assistant manager Neil Tooth who had a spell as assistant manager at Retford United a couple of seasons ago.
Apart from the main stand the only other cover is standing area on the opposite touchline that covers half of that side of the ground. There isn't any covering behind either goal but there is plenty of room to build should the club chose to do that. Although the gateman did tell us that the club are looking to move away from their current home. Moving grounds seems to be flavour of the month with Lincolnshire clubs at the moment; with Boston, Gainsborough, and Lincoln all looking to relocate in the next few years or so. In Lincoln's case i think it would be great for the club, but i will only believe it when i see work on the ground starting and not just talking about it.
As you would expect for two clubs so close in the table there wasn't much between the two sides for much of the match as they cancelled each other out for much of the game. Chances were few and far between for both sides but it was Stamford that drew first blood in the 30th minute when Bruno Holden finished off some neat work in box to score with a cool finish low into the net.
They managed to protect the lead for all of two minutes. The hosts conceded a freekick about 20 yards out when Mark Bellingham took advantage of the keepers positioning to fire the ball home. The Stamford keeper  is a rather large fellow which prompted my travel companion to shout "If that was a burger you would have caught it keeper wouldn't you? " And he probably would, the burgers from the snap hut did look rather nice. It stayed 1-1 till halftime which on the balance of play was about right. There had been plenty of effort from both sides but bar the two goals very little in the way of chances created. Hopefully the second half would be better. Elsewhere the Imps were 1-0 down away to Kettering having conceded yet another penalty. Our two match unbeaten streak was in real danger of coming to an end. It was getting a tad nippy so we headed to the foot hut for a hot drink. I went for the bovril at £1 and it was just what the doctor ordered.
The second half started in the pretty much the same vein as the first with much of the game being bogged down in midfield. Both sides were trying to get the ball down and play but the pitch didn't make passing football easy. Sutton Coldfield took the lead on 67 minutes through Joel Fuller when he took advantage of some poor defending from Stamford and from then on the game opened up as the hosts finally managed to get their wingers into the game and stretch the visitors back four.
Stamford restored parity in the on 76th minute. Luke Garton blasted a shot against the bar from 35 yards out with the keeper beaten all ends up; the ball came down to Bruno Holden who was left with a simple header into the empty net for his second goal of the game.
It got even better for the Daniels two minutes later when they took the lead. The Stamford winger on the right got past the full back and hit in a low cross that caught the keeper in two minds, the cross was flicked on and Holden arrived at the back post to complete his hatrick much to the delight of the Stamford Ultras behind the goal. Town pushed forward in search of the equaliser but as they did they left gaps at the back and allowed Stamford the chance to run at them. If any side was going to add to the score then it was Stamford but a combination of good goal keeping and poor finishing kept the score at 3-2.  Both sides put in some hard but fair challenges which meant that the physios spent a fair bit of time on the pitch, which was no bad thing given that the Town Physio was a nice looking young blond haired lady. The downside to this was the fact that the ref added quite a large amount of stoppage time which when it is bloody cold isn't really what you want.
The win gives Stamford a bit of breathing space to the teams chasing the playoff positions. All in all Stamford is a cracking day out with a decent old school type if ground, good club bar and friendly people. If you haven't been yet then get down there now before they move.

One more interesting thing about the club is the story of how they acquired the nickname "The Daniels". The nickname is in honour of a man that at the time was the fattest man in Britain a Mr Daniel Lambert who lived between 1770 and 1809. At his largest he weighed 52 stone. He is buried in Stamford hence the nickname "The Daniels" Is it great how football throws up this kind of weird and wonderful fact?
Later on in the evening the Nottingham Panthers did give me something to smile about when the recorded a fine 6-1 win over the Coventry Blaze in Nottingham but it didn't really make up for that dreadful defeat for England and the disappointing 1-0 Imps defeat.