PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON : JULY

After a two month break, my football watching for 2014-2015 began in early July, with the World Cup still going on (on the night of the first two Quarter-Finals) in Bray.

I was over there for a concert, and decided to take in a game as there was one on while I was there, a bottom of the table clash between Bray Wanderers and Drogheda United.

Carlisle Ground is a nice stadium for watching football in when it’s sunny. Unfortunately, when I was there, it was raining. A lot.

It was still an enjoyable game, with Drogheda winning 3-1.

On the night of the now infamous World Cup Semi-Final between Brazil and Germany, I was at Mourneview Park for the UEFA Cup tie between Linfield and B36 Torshavn, my first experience of seeing a Warren Feeney managed Linfield team in the flesh.

The following week, I was back at Mourneview Park again, for the next round against AIK, to see Linfield secure a fantastic 1-0 win. Unfortunately, a 2-0 defeat meant Linfield’s European hopes were over for another year.

Two days later, I was Bangor bound, as Linfield used Clandeboye Park for a friendly against Cowdenbeath.

My main reason for going was to check out the facilities at Clandeboye, which had recently had some renovation work and a new 3G pitch.

That was my football watching for July, the league season not long away from starting. It was great to be back watching football.

Bray Wanderers v Drogheda United

Bray Wanderers v Drogheda United Photo Album

Linfield v B36 Torshavn

Linfield v AIK

Linfield v Cowdenbeath

STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF A FOOTBALL YEAR : 2014

So, my football watching is over for 2014. Time to look back at the year just gone. And what better way to do it than with a load of stats.

Games : 54

Goals Seen : 164

Red Cards : 17 (includes Rhys Marshall getting sent-off after the final whistle, but not Gary Hamilton being sent-off as a substitute before he entered the field)

Missed/Saved Penalties : 4

Hat-Tricks : 1 (Robin Van Persie, Manchester United v Olympiacos)

Teams Seen : 37

Accrington Stanley (1st time), AIK Solna (1st time), Ards, B36 Torshavn, Ballinamallard United, Ballyclare Comrades (1st time), Ballymena United, Bangor, Bray Wanderers (1st time), Carrick Rangers, Cliftonville, Coleraine, Cowdenbeath (1st time), Crusaders, Drogheda United, Dungannon Swifts, Everton (1st time), Exeter City (1st time), Faroe Islands, Glenavon, Glentoran, Harland and Wolff Welders, Heart Of Midlothian, Hibernian, Hull City (1st time), Institute, Leyton Orient (1st time), Linfield, Manchester United, Northern Ireland, Olympiacos (1st time), Peterborough United (1st time), Portadown, Real Madrid, Sevilla (1st time), Tottenham Hotspur, Warrenpoint Town,

Stadiums Visited : 19

Ballymena Showgrounds, Brisbane Road (1st time), Cardiff City Stadium (1st time), Carlisle Grounds (1st time), Coleraine Showgrounds, Crown Ground (1st time), Drumahoe (1st time), Ferney Park, Milltown (1st time), Mourneview Park, Old Trafford, Seaview, Shamrock Park, Solitude, Stangmore Park, The Oval, Tynecastle, White Hart Lane (1st time), Windsor Park

Competitions : 15

County Antrim Shield, European Championship, European Cup, European Super Cup (1st time), FA Premier League, Football League One (1st time), Football League Two (1st time), Irish Cup, Irish League, Irish League Championship, League Of Ireland, Northern Ireland League Cup, Scottish Championship (1st time), Steel and Sons Cup, UEFA Cup

Curiousities :

No real curiosities this year. There were two twins on opposing sides, but i’d already seen it. Other than that, a player setting up a goal with no boots. It was a poor year for curiousities.

UEFA 100 Club : Everton, Sevilla (now at 32 clubs)

2014 IN PICTURES – JULY

July began for me with a trip to Dublin, then Bray, primarily for a concert headlined by James and Paloma Faith, a bit of football to see Bray Wanderers, and some Dublin Street Art.

The following week, Linfield’s season was back up and running with the second leg of the UEFA Cup tie against B36 Torshavn at Mourneview Park, my first time seeing Warren Feeney’s Linfield in the flesh.

A 1-1 draw was enough to giver Linfield a tie in the next round against AIK, again at Mourneview Park, where and Andrew Waterworth goal secured a 1-0 win. Unfortunately, a 2-0 defeat in the away leg eliminated Linfield.

Two days later, it was back on the football wagon for Linfield’s friendly against Cowdenbeath. The only reason I went was to see Clandeboye Park, after having had some work done.

The month ended with another Wonder Villains gig, an instore at HMV.

Bray Wanderers v Drogheda United

Bray Wanderers v Drogheda United Photo Album

James – Live At Killruddery

James – Live At Killruddery Photo Album

Paloma Faith – Live At Killruddery

Paloma Faith – Live At Killruddery Photo Album

Dublin Street Art

Dublin Street Art Photo Album

Linfield v B36 Torshavn

Linfield v AIK

Linfield v Cowdenbeath

Wonder Villains Live At The Loft Photo Album

LINFIELD 1-1 B36 TORSHAVN 8.7.2014

Before Tuesday night, the last Linfield match I was at was at Mourneview Park. It was perhaps symbolic or symmetrical that my next should be at the same venue. In the nine weeks that have passed, people have left Linfield, and people have joined Linfield.

The most obvious, is in the dugout, with Warren Feeney as new manager, replacing David Jeffrey, who was in attendance on Tuesday as a supporter. Since you ask, the last Linfield match I attended where David Jeffrey wasn’t manager? A 0-0 draw v Glentoran on December 26th 1996.

Change on the pitch, in the dugout, and change at or of the club, Linfield playing home European ties (Until September, when we’re in the group stage, of course) at Mourneview Park, due to redevelopment of Windsor Park.

It’s two months and one day until an actual home ground there, against Warrenpoint on September 13th. Looking forward to that one, just to actually see in person the changes at the ground.

If you had to choose an alternative home ground, Mourneview Park wouldn’t be a bad choice. Not only is it the perfect size and modern stands, Linfield have an excellent record there. Though, the last time they played a European tie (v Randers in 2009, due to Windsor Park’s pitch being relayed) it resulted in a 3-0 defeat.

Linfield went into the game with a 2-1 first leg lead against familiar opponents, having beaten B36 in a penalty shoot-out in the European Cup in 2012. Linfield supporters were expecting this tie to be advanced without the need for a penalty shoot-out.

For me, and a few others I guess, this was my first viewing of Warren Feeney’s Linfield in the flesh.

B36 started the game with a few shots on goal, but shots you would expect Jonathan Tuffey (despite his wobbly moments last season, and even last week) to save.

Linfield then started to play some nice passes. There was some long passes, but the had a purpose. Players being proactive and running onto flicks, or running past defenders. Attackers were even prepared to run at defenders.

Linfield seemed to be able to get round the back, but not getting the bounce. You got the feeling if there was an early goal, it could end up 3 or 4-0.

The early goal came just after the quarter hour. A cross came in which looked to be overhit. It was great play by Aaron Burns to seize the opportunity to keep the move alive to get his foot onto it and play it across goal for Michael Carvill to score, who appears to be a penalty box poacher these days.

For the rest of the first-half, Linfield looked the most likely to score, without creating clear cut opportunities. 1-0 at half-time, things are going well so far.

In football, things can change in an instant, and B36 got a penalty in the opening minutes of the second-half, which they scored. Suddenly, it’s now a different game.

For a while after the goal, Linfield appeared nervous, but B36 never really looked like scoring. Despite that, you can never be too careful when there’s only one goal in it.

Eventually, Linfield regained their composure and got back into the game, but just couldn’t get that 2nd goal that would have made the final minutes a lot less nervous.

There were plenty of positives, there were plenty of negatives. One big positive was Peter Thompson off the bench. Hopefully, he can stay fully fit throughout the season. As the cliche goes, it would be like a new signing.

The final whistle went, and Linfield were through, to face AIK Solna next Thursday. A Massively improved performance will be needed against the Swedes to have a chance of keeping the tie alive before the trip to Stockholm.

Photo Album

Linfield v B36 – 2012

PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON – JUNE/JULY

For me, the 2012-2013 season began just two and a half weeks after the 2011-2012 season ended.

I had thought about going to the Holland v Northern Ireland game when it was announced, but I was going to Amsterdam in February 2012, so the idea was put on the shelf.

In March 2012, I won free flights with an airline. I had to redeem my prize within three months. Looking through the possible destinations, a trip to Amsterdam for the Northern Ireland match soon became a no brainer.

I had a great weekend in Amsterdam, and having been there before was so useful in getting around. Fantastic city, fantastic stadium, unfortunately, Holland have a fantastic football team (though they didn’t show it at Euro 2012)

The seat I had wasn’t that great for match photos, but I still managed to get some good shots.

My next football shots, came off the pitch in late June, as a new mural in Sandy Row celebrated the life of local heroes, including those who’ve had football careers such as Tommy Dickson and Joe Bambrick.

July started with European football, going to Linfield and Crusaders home matches.

The Crusaders match, v Rosenborg, was the most productive of the two in terms of phototaking, with the closeness to the pitch and a bright night making for good conditions.

The month ended with the Pre-Season Friendly between Orangefield OB and Linfield. It was a mixed night in terms of phototaking, but I got a good one of Orangefield’s bench.

Holland v Northern Ireland

Holland v Northern Ireland Photo Album

Linfield v B36 Torshavn

Crusaders v Rosenborg

Crusaders v Rosenborg Photo Album

Orangefield OB v Linfield

STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF A FOOTBALL YEAR

Having done a statistical analysis of the 2011-2012 season, I thought i’d do one for my football watching in 2012, with today having been my last match attended of the year.

Here is the breakdown.

Games : 48

Goals Seen : 149

(Should have been 151, but I managed to miss two goals this year. Was late for second-half of Linfield v Portadown on 27.10.2012 and missed a goal. Missed the start of Northern Ireland v Azerbaijan on 14.11.2012 and missed a goal)

Red Cards: 10

(Doesn’t include red cards awarded in the dressing room to David Armstrong and Terry Fitzpatrick during Dungannon v Linfield on 13.10.2012)

Missed/Saved Penalties : 4

Hat-Tricks : 3

Aaron Burns (Linfield v Dungannon Swifts)
Peter Thompson (Linfield v Newry City)
Matthew Tipton (Orangefield OB v Linfield)

Teams Seen : 33

Ajax (1st time), Australia (1st time), Azerbaijan, B36 Torshavn (1st time), Ballinamallard United (1st time), Ballymena United, Carrick Rangers, Cliftonville, Coleraine, Crusaders, Donegal Celtic, Dungannon Swifts, Excelsior Rotterdam (1st time), FC Utrecht (1st time), Glenavon, Glentoran, Harland and Wolff Welders (1st time), Heart of Midlothian, Hibernian, Holland (1st time), Linfield, Lisburn Distillery, Luxembourg (1st time), Manchester United, Newry City, Northern Ireland, Norway, Orangefield OB (1st time), Portadown, Queens Park Rangers (1st time), Rosenborg, Scotland, VVV Venlo (1st time)

Stadiums Visited : 16

Amsterdam Arena (1st time), Ballymena Showgrounds, Ballyskeagh, Easter Road, Ferney Park (1st time), Gibson Park (1st time), Mourneview Park, Old Trafford, Seaview, Shamrock Park, Solitude, Stangmore Park, The Oval, Tillysburn Park (1st time), Windsor Park, Woudestein (1st time),

Competitions : 9

County Antrim Shield, Eredivise, European Cup, FA Premier League, Irish Cup, Irish League, Scottish Premier League, UEFA Cup, World Cup

Curiosities

4th February – Watched a match in a stand named after Robin Van Persie

18th February – Twins (Aaron and Andrew Burns) on opposing sides in a competitive game

2012 IN PICTURES – JULY

Not a lot happening in this month. Attended three football matches, Linfield and Crusaders in Europe (and a pre-season friendly), as well as getting some graffiti towards the end of the month.

Linfield’s European match against B36 Torshavn didn’t bring any goals, but it did provide some OK photos.

Crusaders match against Rosenborg brought some far better photos, including some sunset photos of Seaview. I was happy with this as i’d always wanted to get a sunset shot of a football stadium.

Hopefully, one day, i’ll be able to get one of Windsor Park

My final match of the month was Orangefield OB v Linfield. Great shooting position, poor shooting conditions.

Enjoy.

Linfield v B36 Torshavn

Crusaders v Rosenborg

Crusaders v Rosenborg Photo Album

A Tone Of The Times

Orangefield OB v Linfield

LINFIELD 0-0 B36 TORSHAVN 3.7.2012

Bloody hell, talk about frustrating.

Only two days after the final of Euro 2012, my first club game of the season (I’m counting the June match between Holland and Northern Ireland as my first match of the season)

Missed penalty, hit the bar, hit the keeper, hit everything except the back of the net. Ahhh, the Linfield we know and love.

Still confident of getting through in the away leg, but still bloody annoying that the tie wasn’t put to bed tonight.

Usual scenario with regards to photos at Windsor Park, some good, some bad.

Photo Album