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 – MARCH

March began for me in Ballymena, seeing Linfield take on Crusaders in the delayed (from December 2013) County Antrim Shield Final.

Didn’t get many good shots, and the trophy presentation was ruined by the part-time idiots invading the pitch. Standard.

The following Saturday, it was Shamrock Park bound to see Linfield take on Portadown.

Seven days later, it was football again, to see Linfield take on Dungannon Swifts.

The next day, I was out on my bike, for a long overdue Street Art round-up, mainly consisting of murals of dogs.

That midweek, I was Old Trafford bound to see Manchester United beat Olympiacos 3-0 to reach the Quarter-Finals of the European Cup. It was my second, and as turned out, last, time seeing a David Moyes United team. To be honest, at the time, I had a suspicion that would be the case.

After a long bus trip to Old Trafford, it was back on the buses that weekend, heading to Coleraine to see Linfield draw 0-0 with the home team.

The final football match of the month was not a good one, watching Linfield lose 3-1 to Cliftonville, a result which would ultimately go on to cost them the title.

County Antrim Shield Final

County Antrim Shield Final Photo Album

Portadown v Linfield

Linfield v Dungannon Swifts

Dogs

Manchester United v Olympiacos

Manchester United v Olympiacos Photo Album

Coleraine v Linfield

Linfield v Cliftonville

PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON – MARCH

March for me began in Ballymena, for the (much delayed) County Antrim Shield Final between Linfield and Crusaders. Bit of a novelty this one, being in the home end, where they had a plaque to proudly show off that their toilets have a Gold Award. I didn’t get any photos of that, you’ll be glad to hear.

I got some match photos. Would have been nice to get some trophy photos, but unfortunately the usual problem of idiots invading the pitch and ruining it for everyone else put paid to that.

A few days later, back on the road again, Portadown bound, to see Linfield secure a 2-1 win. And yes, I was in the ground in time to see Andrew Waterworth score after 18 seconds.

The following Saturday, I was back at Windsor Park to see Linfield take on Dungannon.

The following midweek, more travelling, to Old Trafford to see United take on Olympiacos, turning around a 0-2 defecit to go through 3-0 on aggregate.

More travelling the following weekend, to Coleraine, for a 0-0 draw. Got some good photos though.

I finished the month with the top of the table clash between Linfield and Cliftonville. The less said of that, the better.

Crusaders v Linfield

Crusaders v Linfield Photo Album

Portadown v Linfield

Linfield v Dungannon Swifts

Manchester United v Olympiacos

Manchester United v Olympiacos Photo Album

Coleraine v Linfield

Linfield v Cliftonville

STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF A FOOTBALL SEASON : 2013-2014

Barring something amazing, my matchgoing 2013-2014 season is over, time for a statistical analysis.

There were no curiousities to report. Went to some games, saw some goals, visited some new grounds. Standard stuff.

Matches Attended : 47

Goals Seen : 139

Red Cards : 23

Hat-Tricks : 2

Cristiano Ronaldo (Northern Ireland v Portugal)
Robin Van Persie (Manchester United v Olympiacos)

Penalties Missed/Saved : 2

Highest Scoring Match : 7 (Linfield 5-2 Ards, Glenavon 2-5 Linfield)

Countries Seen Matches In : 4

England, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Scotland

Teams Seen Play : 31

Ards, Ballinamallard United, Ballymena United, Cliftonville, Crusaders, Crystal Palace (1st time) Derriaghy CC, Drogheda United, Dundee United (1st time), Dungannon Swifts, Everton (1st time), Glenavon, Glentoran, Hibernian, IF Fuglafjordur (1st time), Leyton Orient (1st time), Linfield, Manchester United, Northern Ireland, Peterborough United (1st time) Portadown, Portugal, Russia (1st time) Skoda Xanthi (1st time), St Patrick’s Athletic, Tottenham Hotspur, Warrenpoint Town (1st time)

Competitions Watched : 11

County Antrim Shield, European Cup, FA Premier League, Football League One (1st time), Irish Cup, Irish League, League Of Ireland, Northern Ireland League Cup, Scottish Premier League, UEFA Cup, World Cup,

Stadiums Visited : 18

Ballymena Showgrounds, Brisbane Road (1st time), Coleraine Showgrounds, Dixon Park (1st time), Easter Road, Ferney Park, Milltown (1st time), Mourneview Park, Old Trafford, Richmond Park, Seaview, Seycon Park, Shamrock Park, Solitude, Stangmore Park, The Oval, White Hart Lane (1st time), Windsor Park,

CRUSADERS 0-0 LINFIELD 4.3.2014

David Jeffrey’s farewell tour rolled into Ballymena, the home of last season’s winners, last night for the much belated County Antrim Shield Final against Crusaders.

I don’t usually bother with this competition, especially given the farce involved in trying to arrange this game, but sentiment got the better of me, deciding to go, as it would be the last time I see Linfield play in a final under David Jeffrey’s management.

Despite having been to Ballymena Showgrounds many times before, it gave Linfield fans a chance to experience something different, being situated in the home end at Ballymena.

I’ve seen a lot of things watching football, but last night had a first ………… certificates on the wall outside the toilets in honour of them achieving Gold Standard in the Loo Of The Year Awards. I guess they don’t have many trophies to parade

The match began with Linfield on the attack, but there were very rare in the opening stages. Crusaders were the more effective with their possession in the early stages, causing some mild panic in Linfield’s defence at corners.

That seemed to be Crusaders tactics, try to win a corner and hope for the best. After some shaky moments, Linfield got better with each corner, to the point that they could defend them with their eyes closed.

As the first-half ended, Linfield were the better team, forcing Sean O’Neill into saves. Unfortunately, his saves were nothing special, and saves he’d be expected to make.

In the second-half, Linfield continued to have chances, forcing O’Neill into saves, albeit, saves he’d be expected to make.

The best chance came when a Mark McAllister cross was headed wide by Aaron Burns, a first-half sub for the injured Ivan Sproule – his first appearance since being injured in mid January, away to Ballymena, ironically.

Sometimes you just know when a game was going to finish 0-0. This was one of games.

The game was crying out for Michael Carvill to be introduced off the bench. It seemed that Jeffrey was waiting until the end of the 90s minutes to introduce him. He was introduced in the second period of extra-time. It was so late, I thought it was for a defender in order to have more attacking (and theoretically better strikers of the ball) on the pitch for the impending penalty shoot-out..

With there being only ten minutes each way during extra-time in the County Antrim Shield, it was no surprised that there was no real momentum to the game from that point onwards.

The game went to penalties, for the second time this season between the clubs. The previous one in the League Cup, finished 10-9 to Crusaders after 11 kicks. Thankfully, we were spared that.

Two saves by Jonathan Tuffey had Linfield at match point with 3 kicks taken. Billy Joe Burns stepped up to secure the trophy 4-1 on penalties.

This isn’t a major trophy, but it’s still nice to win, especially when you haven’t won it for 8 years. The only downside was that once again, the trophy presentation was ruined by idiots invading the pitch and denying the players the chance to parade the trophy to supporters, and for supporters to see the trophy being paraded by their team.

I hope i’m just as moany at the end of April.

Photo Album

STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF A FOOTBALL SEASON : 2012-2013

Barring something dramatic, the 2012-2013 season is over for me in terms of football attending.

The season began in June at the Amsterdam Arena, and ended in May at Clandeboye Park.

Unsurprisingly, most of the Linfield matches I attended weren’t particularly enjoyable.

There wasn’t much in the way of curiousities (last season, I saw two twins on opposing sides) apart from going to two matches in once day – twice, and there being a power failure at a match I was at.

Amazingly, it was an FA Premier League game, rather than an Irish League game.

So here, is a statistical look back at my 2012-2013 football season :

Matches Attended : 52

Goals Seen : 147 (should be 149, but I missed 2 goals in 2 different matches due to being late)

Red Cards : 11 (Plus also 2 players sent-off in dressing room for on field incident)

Hat-Tricks : 2

Matthew Tipton (Orangefield OB v Linfield, Linfield v Coleraine)

Penalties Missed/Saved : 7

Highest Scoring Match : 7 (Linfield 5-2 Coleraine, Falkirk 3-4 Hibernian AET)

Countries Seen Matches In : 5

England, Holland, Northern Ireland, Republic Of Ireland, Scotland

Teams Seen Play : 35

Australia (1st time), Azerbaijan, B36 Torshavn (1st time), Ballinamallard United (1st time), Ballymena United, Bangor, Cliftonville, Coleraine, Crusaders, Donegal Celtic, Dungannon Swifts, Falkirk (1st time), Fulham, Glenavon, Glentoran, Harland and Wolff Welders (1st time), Hibernian, Heart of Midlothian, Holland (1st time), Israel, Linfield, Lisburn Distillery, Luxembourg (1st time), Manchester United, Northern Ireland, Norwich City, Orangefield OB (1st time), Portadown, Queens Park Rangers (1st time), Rangers, Reading (1st time), Rosenborg, Shamrock Rovers (1st time), Scotland, Tobermore United (1st time)

Competitions Watched : 11

County Antrim Shield, European Cup, FA Premier League, Irish Cup, Irish League, Irish League Championship 1, Scottish Cup, Scottish Premier League, Setanta Cup, UEFA Cup, World Cup,

Stadiums Visited : 20

Amsterdam Arena, Ballyskeagh, Clandeboye Park, Craven Cottage (1st time), Cregagh Sports Ground (1st time), Easter Road, Ferney Park (1st time), Hampden Park, Ibrox (1st time), Loftus Road (1st time), Mourneview Park, Old Trafford, Seaview, Shamrock Park, Stangmore Park, Solitude, Tallaght Stadium (1st time), The Oval, Tillysburn Park (1st time), Windsor Park,

PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON – NOVEMBER

A few wee trips this month of football.

My first game, was at Solitude, to see Linfield put in a pitiful defeat. Usual phototaking arrangements at Solitude. Some ok shots, nothing special

A few days later, I was at Windsor Park for Northern Ireland’s game against Azerbaijan, which had a mixed bag photowise, but I got a good crowd shot at half-time

Ten days later, I was in Manchester for my first trip of the season to Old Trafford. I managed to get some shots of football related stickerart in the city centre.

Unfortunately, United’s goals that day came down the other end, but I did get some nice shots of the game.

Three days later, I was at The Oval for the County Antrim Shield final, which didn’t go to plan, but I did get some good shots, mostly in extra-time and the penalty shoot-out.

Cliftonville v Linfield

Northern Ireland v Azerbaijan

Northern Ireland v Azerbaijan Photo Album

Linfield v Glenavon

Manchester United v Queens Park Rangers

Manchester United v Queens Park Rangers Photo Album

County Antrim Shield Final

County Antrim Shielf Final Photo Album

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 – NOVEMBER

November began slowly, but ended with a trip to Manchester and a penalty shoot-out.

My first big photo adventure came as part of Belfast Music Week, when I got some photos of a concert in The Limelight which featured Wonder Villains.

As part of Belfast Music Week, a plaque dedicated to Terri Hooley was erected in tribute to his contribution to music in the city, so I headed out to get some photos of this.

Football wise, it was a mixed bag. My first match of the month was at Solitude. The less said about the match, the better. A mixed bag phototaking wise, it always is at Solitude.

Went to the Northern Ireland v Azerbaijan game and got one good photo and a lot of bad ones. Later in the month, I headed to Old Trafford for the match against QPR, and had mixed results, but mostly pleasing.

Got some photos of the newly erected statue of Sir Alex Ferguson, but it’s not in a great position for amateur photography.

And finally, I graced the County Antrim Shield with my presence, but it was not much help as Linfield lost to Ballymena United. Managed to get some good crowd and portrait shots of The Oval.

Enjoy

Belfast Music Week

Pretty Child Backfire Photo Album

Wonder Villains Photo Album

Cliftonville v Linfield

Hooley

Northern Ireland v Azerbaijan

Northern Ireland v Azerbaijan Photo Album

Linfield v Glenavon

Manchester Sticker Art

Manchester United v Queens Park Rangers

Manchester United v Queens Park Rangers Photo Album

Ballymena United v Linfield

County Antrim Shield Final Photo Album

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BALLYMENA UNITED 1-1 LINFIELD 27.11.2012

Last night, for the first time in almost seven years, I attended a County Antrim Shield game. Last night, like in February 2006, it was a final between Linfield and Ballymena United.

I’ve previously blogged about this competition’s status in the schedule (My own opinion was that it was a farce that the Semi-Finals of this competition took priority for the late October midweek date over the League Cup Quarter-Finals) but still, when you get to a final, you want to win.

I’d seen the first-half many times before, without dominating, Ballymena were the better team, first to every ball. That’s how their goal game.

After a brief rally at the start of the second-half, Linfield had a brief period of being on top and got a penalty, which was surprisingly scored. Questions have to be asked, though, why Davy Munster wasn’t sent-off for a professional foul.

Linfield had one other chance of note, when Michael Carvill should have scored. In reality, it was mostly situations rather than chances for Linfield, mostly wasted due to a misplaced pass.

A draw was a fair result, but we needed a winner. It went to penalties, and the inevitable happened.

So, one trophy gone, another virtually (if not mathematically) gone. Oh joy.

Managed to get some good photos, though mostly crowd and stadium shots as The Oval isn’t great for match action.

Enjoy.

Photo Album