MANCHESTER UNITED 2-1 SAMPDORIA 2.8.2017

A few weeks back, I headed to my first United match of the season, a nice novelty of not having too far to do so, a (relatively) short bus journey to Dublin.

This was my third visit to Lansdowne Road since it was redeveloped. My last one was the 2011 UEFA Cup Final, and my trip had two tenuous United links. I walked past Mike Phelan (in his official club suit) outside the ground, and the winning goal was scored by Radamel Falcao. Whatever happened to him?

It also meant that I would be getting to see some football in Dublin in 2017, five days later than I hoped. Oh, have I got a story for you.

The weekend before, I headed to Dublin for an overnight stay on the Friday, see some Street Art, walkabout and see some football.

The football match I planned to take in was UCD v Cabinteely. I went on UCD’s website and knew to get on the number 11 bus, which was 5 minutes away for about 20 minutes.

So, I got on the number 11 bus, and the Driver confirmed this was going to UCD.

However, when I got off, I discovered I was at DCU, a university, not a football ground. It turns out I had got on the bus in the wrong direction.

It was 7.15pm and I had no hope of reaching the 7.45pm, but there was still some footballing hope as Shamrock Rovers v Bohs kicked-off at 8pm.

I got a bus back to the City Centre and hopped on the Luas.

At 8.15pm and 4 or 5 stops away from Tallaght, I decided to admit defeat and head back to Dublin City Centre.

For future reference, i’ll just get a taxi or ask the Bus Driver five times to make sure he is absolutely sure the bus is going in the right direction.

This match represented an opportunity for me to tick Sampdoria off my 102 Club List.

For me, Sampdoria will always be Vialli, Lombardo, Vierchowod, Pagliuca, Gullit, and the iconic red, white and black stripes across that blue shirt. The current team aren’t quite in the same vintage.

The first save of the game came from David De Gea on his own goal line. From a misplaced Daley Blind backpass. It was very Phil Jones.

Sampdoria were awarded an indirect free-kick for the save, which was blocked, United went on the counter attack and Henrykh Mkhitaryan headed home from a Matteo Darmian cross.

It was one of many instances where Darmian found space out on the left hand side.

Mkhitaryan almost got a second headed goal but he was denied by Sampdoria’s keeper.

Romelu Lukaku fired just wide as he endured a frustrating evening. Thankfully, the goals have started to come in time for competitive games against Real Madrid and West Ham.

The second-half was dominated by substitutions as Antonio Valencia was the only United player to complete 90 minutes.

Ander Herrera had a goal disallowed before Sampdoria equalised when a poor clearance fell to Dennis Praet on the edge of the box.

One of those substitutes introduced, Anthony Martial, was the United player making things happen, and it was no surprise that he was involved in United’s winner, setting up Juan Mata to fire home.

Ander Herrera then tried to emulate Paul Scholes goal against Bradford as United searched for a 3rd goal that would secure the win. They didn’t need it as they were comfortable and in control at 2-1.

The match saw Nemanja Matic make his United debut in a ground he will be playing in for Serbia next month in an eventful week where he signed for United and then celebrated his birthday.

He was everywhere. When Sampdoria passed the ball forward, he was usually intercepting it.

I’ve got two trips to Old Trafford planned in 2017-2018, Bournemouth in December and Watford in May.

Hopefully, when I go to see them, United will be in a position where they have built on an encouraging pre-season, especially when I see them face Watford in May 2018.

Photo Album

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DUBLIN STREET ART – JULY 2017

Spent two days in Dublin recently, and naturally was out with my camera getting some Street Art shots.

I usually go to Dublin once a year, usually for a day trip or an overnight visit. It isn’t specifically with Street Art in mind, but it’s there, so I might as well photograph it.

Usually when I visit a city, I usually wander about, and Dublin was no different.

However, I know where to go, and the first two places I visited were Smithfield and Temple Bar.

While I was in Smithfield, I got a picture of a mural of Romelu Lukaku. Well, that is if you work for Dublin Herald.

Once thing that was noticeable was the number of electric boxes that had been painted. This is part of a project aimed at brightening up the city. You can find it’s website here.

The first one I saw was one of Phil Lynott. Unfortunately, I only discovered about there being one of Father Ted and Father Dougal after I left Dublin.

I had a look at bus/train timetables and Waterford can be reached from Dublin in two hours. Why is that relevant? The city hosts an event called Waterford Walls, and is somewhere I want to visit to check out Street Art.

A Dublin/Waterford double header in 2018 sounds very tempting.

Photo Album

Dublin Street Art May 2016

Dublin Street Art June 2015

Dublin Street Art July 2014

Dublin Street Art August 2013

2016 IN PICTURES – MAY

May 2016 began for me by going to see Space. Not the planet, but the band, doing a gig at The Empire.

The following day, was the Irish Cup Final between Linfield and Glenavon, the less said about that game, the better.

The following weekend, I was in Manchester and managed to get some Street Art photos, including one of a mural of David Bowie in the Northern Quarter.

It certainly made up for not seeing any football, after the Manchester United v Bournemouth match that I travelled over for was postponed.

Towards the end of the month, I headed to Windsor Park to see Northern Ireland take on Belarus in their final home game before heading to Euro 2016.

Two days later, I headed to Dublin on a day trip, taking lots of Street Art photos and going to see Bohs take on St Patrick’s Athletic, my first visit to Dalymount Park in six years.

Space live at The Empire

Space live at The Empire Photo Album

Linfield v Glenavon

Linfield v Glenavon Photo Album

Manchester Street Art

Manchester Street Art Photo Album

Salford Quays Street Art

Salford Quays Street Art Photo Album

Northern Ireland v Belarus

Northern Ireland v Belarus Photo Album

Dublin Street Art

Dublin Street Art Photo Album

Bohemian FC v St Patrick’s Athletic

Bohemian FC v St Patrick’s Athletic Photo Album

PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON – MAY

And so to May, the final month of the season.

My football watching for the month began with the Irish Cup Final, as Linfield disappointingly lost 2-0 to Glenavon.

The following weekend, I was inside Old Trafford, getting ready to watch Manchester United v Bournemouth, until a forgetful security guard put paid to that.

That meant that it was three weeks until my next game, Northern Ireland v Belarus.

Two days after that, I took advantage of there being a full League Of Ireland fixture list on a Sunday of a Bank Holiday weekend, by heading on a day trip to Dublin, and taking in Bohs v St Patrick’s Athletic, my final game of the 2015-2016 season.

Linfield v Glenavon

Linfield v Glenavon Photo Album

Northern Ireland v Belarus

Northern Ireland v Belarus Photo Album

Bohs v St Patrick’s Athletic

Bohs v St Patrick’s Athletic Photo Album

BOHEMIAN FC 5-1 ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC 29.5.2016

Once a year, I like to do a day trip to Dublin, and while there, take in a League Of Ireland game.

Due to an international match being played on the League Of Ireland’s traditional Friday night slot, this round of games were moved to a Sunday afternoon, and on a Bank Holiday Weekend, made this round a no brainer for me.

I had my choice of matches. Shamrock Rovers were at home to Finn Harps. In the First Division, Shelbourne were at home to Limerick, while Cabinteely were at home to Drogheda United.

Shelbourne was tempting, but Tolka Park is relatively close to Croke Park, and with Springsteen in town, getting there and back was potentially problematic.

I’ve never been to Cabinteely, one of two senior football grounds in Dublin I haven’t been to (the other being UCD’s ground) and this was tempting. Unfortunately, I was only doing a day trip and didn’t have time to waste trying to find the ground.

Part of the reason for only doing a day trip, especially being off work on the Monday, was that I faffed about for so long booking a hotel, Springsteen announced a gig that day, and the prices soon drove up.

This match at Dalymount had it’s own special appeal to me. It had been six years since my last visit there, and it might be the last chance I have to visit there in it’s current form ahead of a proposed redevelopment, assuming they don’t take as long faffing about with stadium redevelopments in Republic Of Ireland as they do in Northern Ireland.

My only two visits to Dalymount Park have seen wins for Bohs, and their fans were hoping it would be a hat-trick for me, with their side 10th in a 12 team league, just 4 points clear of the relegation zone, against a St Patrick’s Athletic side not where they wanted to be, on the wrong side of a 4 point gap, as they chase European football.

Bohs went straight on the attack, with the confidence of a team higher up the league, and found themselves 1-0 up after 2 minutes with the ball was pulled back to Roberto Lopes, who scored from close range.

The tannoy blasted out Gold by Spandau Ballet, with the fans singing along, but changing “Gold” to “Bohs”. It was a sound we would hear quite a lot of times through the afternoon.

Just 2 minutes later, St Pat’s gifted the ball to Ishmail Akinade, who made it 2-0. Bohs fans were equally as stunned as the St Pat’s fans, and they were loving it.

St Pat’s were a mess in defence, and were lucky to get a goal kick when their keeper was charged down trying to clear the ball away. Given the start Bohs had made, it was surprising that the ball didn’t end up in the net.

The ball was in the net soon after, when Jake Kelly was played through and finished. It was too easy for Bohs.

St Pat’s actually reacted well to going 3-0 down. They had chances and pressure, usually blocked on the line, or just not getting the bounce.

At both ends of the pitch, everything was going Bohs way.

If you’re 3-0 up, it can’t be all luck, but bad finishing by Bohs and better by Pat’s would have seen the match narrative dramatically changed, that Pat’s had rode their luck earlier on to get a 1-0 lead without playing well.

Just as looked like St Pat’s might be getting a goal back to give them some hope in the second-half, Bohs made it 4-0 when Jake Kelly scored from close range.

The factfile of St Patrick’s Athletic in the match programme, listed the club’s record defeat as a 7-0 defeat at Dalymount Park in 1974. On the basis of the half just witnessed, that being equalled or beaten looked like a realistic possibility.

As the second-half started, it was Bohs who had the best chance when Akinade fired wide after being gifted possession.

St Pat’s had possession, but never looked like scoring.

That was, until Ian Bermingham headed home with just over 10 minutes to go. It was celebrated like a consolation goal rather than the beginning of a dramatic comeback.

If St Pat’s were hoping to launch a late rally, that hope was soon extinguished, when Sean Hoare was sent-off for a professional foul, coming about after Pat’s had again gifted away possession in their defensive third.

From the resulting penalty, Kurtis Byrne made it 5-1.

St Pat’s were able to avoid conceding any more with 10 men on the pitch, the damage was done in the first-half, specifically, the opening 12 minutes.

As the final whistle blew, Bohs fans naturally celebrated the win, cheering their team off the pitch. For me, that was the end of my 2015-2016 season.

Photo Album

BOWIE

When news of his death emerged earlier this month, there was only going to be one point of pilgrimage for David Bowie’s fans to pay tribute to their idol – The mural of him in Brixton, where he grew up.

That mural was the first thing i’d thought of whenever the news filtered through just before 7am on 11th January. I’d actually visited it in 2014, purely by accident. I’ll get to that later. Due to the nature of street art, I wasn’t sure if it would still be there nearly two years later, but i’m glad it was.

In 2014, I headed to London for a weekend away. Checking the concert listings, I saw that Tom Odell was playing in Brixton. I’d wanted to go to this but there were no tickets available online, so I thought i’d pop down to the venue box office to chance my arm.

While there, I stumbled upon the mural of Bowie. For the record, I wasn’t able to get a ticket for Tom Odell. Still, getting to see a mural of David Bowie made it a worthwhile trip to Brixton.

If you want to see David Bowie immortalised on a wall, you don’t have to go to Brixton though.

Withing days of his death, two tributes appeared in Dublin – One in Francis Street (A renowned Street Art hotspot) and another one in Richmond Street.

I’ve no immediate plans to visit Dublin, but I do plan on at least doing a day trip during the summer. Hopefully, when I do arrive there, both pieces will still be there for me to see in the flesh.

Not to be outdone, Belfast would soon be getting it’s own mural, done by renowned local artist Visual Waste.

I popped down on Tuesday lunchtime when it was a work in progress, and then again when it was a finished piece two days later.

If you want to see it in person, it’s on Gresham Street, beside The Hudson Bar.

Photo Album

2015 IN PICTURES – JUNE

June 2015 began in Crewe, but only briefly, as I was on an 8.35am train bound for Liverpool, to spend a day in the city having been at Northern Ireland’s match at Gresty Road the day before.

While in Liverpool, I managed to spot some Street Art and get some photos.

In the middle of the month, my last football match of 2014-2015, as Northern Ireland took on Romania in a European Championship Qualifier, my first game in the newly rebuilt Railway Stand at Windsor Park, which was fast tracked to be open for that game due to problems with The Kop

The month ended with a day trip to Dublin. Naturally, there were Street Art photos.

While there, I also took in Bray Wanderers match against Sligo Rovers, my first match of 2015-2016, just two weeks after my last game of 2014-2015.

That, was my photo adventures for June.

Liverpool Street Art

Liverpool Street Art Photo Album

Northern Ireland v Romania

Northern Ireland v Romania Photo Album

Dublin Street Art

Dublin Street Art Photo Album

Bray Wanderers v Sligo Rovers

Bray Wanderers v Sligo Rovers Photo Album

DUBLIN STREET ART JUNE 2015

I took a trip down to Dublin at the weekend. I usually go to Dublin once a year, usually for an event and I end up staying over for a few days.

No events for me this year, so I decided to head down for a day some Saturday. While I was down there, I decided I would get some Street Art pictures while I was there.

I cheated a bit, by making a list of possible places to visit from a handy resource called Wallop Dublin, a website dedicated to Street Art in Dublin.

I also had previous knowledge of the city and revisited places I had previously been to to see if there was any updated work.

One such place I had hoped to photograph was Tivoli Car Park in Francis Street, but unfortunately it was closed whenever I visited. I’ll make a note to revisit there the next time in Dublin.

A major source of inspiration for Street Art is the recent Same Sex Marriage Referendum, and I spotted some stuff relating to this.

I was in the City Centre throughout my time there. Despite having a list of places to visit, I still found myself walking around and getting lost and exploring it that way.

Meanwhile, back in Belfast, there’s a new mural at the side of The Rotterdam Bar to commemorate the Tall Ships.

I haven’t have a chance to snap it yet, but if you want to see what it looks like, you can find it on Extramural Activity.

Photo Album

Dublin Street Art 2014

Dublin Street Art 2013

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

DUBLIN STREET ART – JULY 2014

As you’ve gathered from the previous blog posts, I was in Dublin last weekend.

Out with my camera, I stumbled upon some Street Art, so I took some photos.

Not exactly sure where in Dublin these are, I know that one is in Smithfield, some are in Temple Bar and some are near Connolly Station.

It was disappointing to see that a wall that was covered in fantastic art (Near Fegan’s) is now blank.

Enjoy

Photo Album

Dublin Street Art – August 2013