HIBERNIAN 1-0 ST MIRREN 3.8.2019

Having already taken in one game during my trip to Edinburgh on the Friday night, I decided to take in a second game on the Saturday afternoon at a ground I hadn’t been to for a while.

Unlike my other game, there was no Northern Ireland involvement in this, with both clubs parting company with Managers from Northern Ireland this year.

A change in manager seemed to work for Hibs, as they finished the season in title winning form under Paul Heckingbottom, although the manager they got rid of did win the League.

This was my first time seeing St Mirren in the flesh, though it might have been my second, as they randomly played a pre-season friendly a few streets away against Rosario, though I didn’t end up going to that match.

This was my first visit to Easter Road since 2013. They were away when I visited Edinburgh in 2014 and 2015, although I did turn down the chance to see them play in the League Cup against Stranraer in 2015 as I decided to see James in concert instead.

I didn’t visit Edinburgh in 2016. They were at home when I visited in 2017 but I went to see Edinburgh City instead, and they didn’t play when I visited in 2018.

Surprisingly, despite not visiting in six year, I was able to walk to the ground and not get lost. It’s very easy to remember the route from Edinburgh City Centre.

What it now means, is that when August 2020 comes around, it will be five years now since my last visit to Tynecastle, so I know what I want the Fixture Fairy to bring me.

There wasn’t much options in terms of games in Edinburgh or close to Edinburgh. Livingston were at home, but the ground seemed hard to get to, while Edinburgh City were away from home.

The previous weekend, Liverpool played Napoli in a friendly at Murrayfield, which finished 3-0 to Napoli. They maybe should have done that last December instead and made everybody’s Summer a lot more bearable. Useless shower.

Unfortunately, United didn’t follow suit, playing their friendly against AC Milan in Cardiff instead.

You could just imagine Ole Gunnar Solskjaer handing out flyers in Pleasance while despairing as Phil Jones and Chris Smalling accidentally got nominated for a Perrier Award.

With tickets for this game being on general sale, I took the opportunity to purchase one for the away end, meaning that I will have been in all four sides of Easter Road, but not all stands, as the game I attended in the East Stand was in 2009, before being demolished to make way for a modern stand in 2010.

One of the highlights of the game came before the match, watching as bemused American tourists wonder what is going on, as St Mirren fans marched to the game signing their team’s songs.

St Mirren were straight on the attack from kick-off and were holding their own in a game that not many were expecting them to get anything from.

However, it was Hibs who had the first strike of note when a long range shot from Stevie Mallan went just wide.

St Mirren were mostly relying on counter attacks, which were very effective.

Hibs had a few decent attacks, with St Mirren usually being forced into a last ditch block or tackle

The closest they came to scoring was when a Scott Allan shot hit the post.

Hibs thought they had made the breakthrough, only to be denied by an offside flag. St Mirren fans responded by taunting the Hibs fans beside them when “Sit down” gestures like Neil Lennon did against Hearts last season.

There was more frustration for Hibs when Christian Doidge missed an open net from a cross.

Just when it looked like St Mirren were going to get an unlikely point, Scott Allan burst through to fire low to give Hibs the lead with a few minutes to go.

But not the points, well not for certain, as St Mirren had a late rally in response, resulting in Jonathan Obika stretching for a cross, but firing over, as Hibs began the season with a win on Matchday 1.

Matchday 2 saw them crash down to earth with a 6-1 defeat at Rangers, and they were overtaken in the table on goal difference by St Mirren, who beat Aberdeen 1-0. It’s a funny old game.

Photo Album

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,

PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON – AUGUST

August was when the season properly started. For me, it included matches in three different countries.

My first match of the month was at Richmond Park, to see St Patrick’s Athletic take on Drogheda United. I was in Dublin that weekend, so thought i’d take in a game.

My original choice was Bray Wanderers v Boehmians, but they moved it from the original date, and I wasn’t able to go to it.

The match at Richmond Park, was the same score as my previous visit in 2010 ………. 0-0. I should probably be banned from attending matches there.

The following weekend, it was Shamrock Park, to see Linfield and Portadown draw 1-1. The Irish League season, was finally up and running.

Three days later, was a match that should have been played the previous season, the re-arranged World Cup Qualifier between Northern Ireland and Russia.

That weekend, I was in Edinburgh, primarily for the festival, but I always like to take in a game while i’m there.

The SPL Fixture Computer gave me Easter Road for a second successive year, the visitors this time being Dundee United.

My final match of the month saw bottom placed Linfield take on Glentoran, in a 0-0 draw. That is not how I imagined August would end.

St Patrick’s Athletic v Drogheda United

St Patrick’s Athletic v Drogheda United Photo Album

Portadown v Linfield

Northern Ireland v Russia

Northern Ireland v Russia Photo Album

Hibernian v Dundee United

Hibernian v Dundee United Photo Album

Linfield v Glentoran

STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF A FOOTBALL YEAR : 2013

So, my football watching is over for 2013. Time to look back at the year just gone. And what better way to do it than with a load of stats.

Games : 48

Goals Seen : 135

Red Cards : 19

Missed/Saved Penalties : 5

Hat-Tricks : 2

Matthew Tipton (Linfield v Coleraine)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Northern Ireland v Portugal)

Teams Seen : 35

Ards, Ballinamallard United, Ballymena United, Bangor, Cliftonville, Coleraine, Crystal Palace (1st time), Crusaders, Derriaghy CC, Drogheda United, Dundee United (1st time), Dungannon Swifts, Falkirk (1st time), Fulham, Glenavon, Glentoran, Hibernian, IF Fuglafjordur (1st time), Israel (1st time), Linfield, Lisburn Distillery, Manchester United, Northern Ireland, Norwich City, Portadown, Portugal, Queens Park Rangers, Rangers, Reading (1st time), Russia (1st time), Shamrock Rovers (1st time), Skoda Xanthi (1st time), St Patrick’s Athletic, Tobermore United (1st time) Warrenpoint Town (1st time)

Stadiums Visited : 21

Ballymena Showgrounds, Clandeboye Park, Coleraine Showgrounds, Craven Cottage (1st time), Dixon Park (1st time), Easter Road, Ferney Park, Hampden Park, Ibrox (1st time), Loftus Road (1st time), Mourneview Park, Old Trafford, Richmond Park, Seaview, Seycon Park, Shamrock Park, Solitude, Stangmore Park, Tallaght Stadium (1st time), The Oval, Windsor Park

Competitions : 11

FA Premier League, IFA Championship, IFA Premiership, Irish Cup, League Of Ireland, Northern Ireland League Cup, Setanta Cup, Scottish Cup, Scottish Premier League, UEFA Cup, World Cup,

Curiousities :

2nd Feb/6th Apr : Two matches in one day

2nd Feb : First ever floodlight failure at a match attended, Fulham v Manchester United

Feb – Apr : Visiting, Queen’s Park, Rangers, and Queens Park Rangers grounds.

UEFA 100 Club : Dundee United (now at 30 clubs)

Top Five Matches :

1. Northern Ireland 2-4 Portugal
2. Falkirk 3-4 Hibernian AET
3. Fulham 0-1 Manchester United
4. Linfield 3-1 Cliftonville
5. Coleraine 2-3 Linfield

2013 IN PICTURES – AUGUST

August began with a trip to Dublin to see Blur (supported by Bat For Lashes and The Strypes), for the first time, and possibly the only time, which was why I was so desperate to go.

As the concert was a Thursday, I decided to make a weekend of it, having not stayed in Dublin since 2011. While I was there, I saw lots of Street Art photos (I didn’t go in search of them, but I stumbled upon some, so it would have been rude not to get photos.

Also, while I was in Dublin, I went to see St Patrick’s Athletic take on Drogheda United (my original choice of Bray Wanderers v Shelbourne was moved to a later date) which finished 0-0.

It was my second visit to Richmond Park, both of which have finished 0-0. There’s probably a Banning Order against me attending another match there.

Upon my return from Dublin, that wasn’t the end of the fun, as I went to see The Charlatans at Falls Park. Like Blur, this was my first time seeing them, and possibly my only chance to.

The following weekend, the new season started, and I was at Shamrock Park to see Linfield take on Portadown

My next football match, was the rearranged from March game between Northern Ireland and Russia, which Northern Ireland won 1-0.

That weekend, I was travelling again, this time to Edinburgh, for the festival, but I took in a football match, Hibs v Dundee United, and got some Street Art photos.

After returning from Edinburgh, it was all about Belsonic, my only concert of it being Suede. I was already excited about Suede (like Blur and The Charlatans, never seen them, might be my only chance) but James being added as a support (seen them twice, but never in Northern Ireland) was the icing on the cake.

To end an exciting month, I went to see Linfield play Glentoran. It finished 0-0.

Dublin Street Art

Dublin Street Art Photo Album

Blur Live At IMMA Dublin

Blur Live At IMMA Dublin Photo Album

Bat For Lashes Photo Album

The Strypes Photo Album

St Patrick’s Athletic v Drogheda United

St Patrick’s Athletic v Drogheda United Photo Album

The Charlatans Live At Falls Park

The Charlatans Live At Falls Park Photo Album

Echo Raptors Live At Falls Park Photo Album

Portadown v Linfield

Northern Ireland v Russia

Northern Ireland v Russia Photo Album

Hibernian v Dundee United

Hibernian v Dundee United Photo Album

Edinburgh Street Art

Edinburgh Street Art Photo Album

Runaway Go Live At Belsonic

Runaway Go Live At Belsonic Photo Album

James Live At Belsonic

James Live At Belsonic Photo Album

Suede Live At Belsonic

Suede Live At Belsonic Photo Album

Linfield v Glentoran

HIBERNIAN 1-1 DUNDEE UNITED 17.8.2013

Was in Edinburgh last weekend, mostly for the festival, but while i’m there, I like to take in a match of whatever team is at home that weekend.

In 2011, I got two games at Tynecastle. Last year, I got two games at Easter Road. Logically, I was expecting a game at Tynecastle, but the SPL fixture computer sent me to Easter Road. However, it did give me a gift in the form of Dundee United.

You may remember me blogging a month ago about the UEFA 100 Club, well, Dundee United are a part of that and are now on my list at number 30. Ironically, I counted back, and it appears Celtic at Easter Road in 2009 was number 20.

There are more than two teams in Edinburgh though, and I was hoping this game would be a Sunday, so I could go and watch The Spartans on the Saturday. Maybe next year.

By now, I know the route to the stadium and arrive just after 2pm and got a ticket no problem, had a wee look in the programme shop on Albion Road, then headed into the ground.

Both teams went into the game without a win or a goal between them (Dundee United did, though, have a point) and it was clear to see why, as both teams laboured without looking like scoring.

Dundee United then got on top, but were still wasteful. Eventually they scored, a very simple goal. Long ball over the top, one touch control and slotted past the Hibs keeper.

Despite United’s wastefulness in attacking positions, there was still an inevitability about the goal. United stayed on top for the rest of the first-half but didn’t get a second goal, which would come back to haunt them.

Hibs fans were restless and not liking what they saw, booing at half-time. They even groaned at the choice of sponsor’s man of the match.

Hibs came out for the second-half and started brightly, but still didn’t look like scoring.

The incident that changed the game came from a double red card as Kevin Thompson of Hibs clashed with Dundee United’s Gavin Gunning.

It was at the end where I was sat, but I was following the ball, but I did see them square up to each other. The referee obviously saw more than me, and what he saw was deemed worthy of a double red card.

Suddenly, all the Hibs support became unified in what they saw as an injustice for their played. Hibs piled on the pressure and got the reward when Scott Robertson fired in a long range shot.

Hibs then believed they were going to win, but had to settle for a draw, and will hope that Robertson’s goal can give them momentum for the rest of the season.

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 – AUGUST

August’s football travels began on the first day of the month in East Belfast, as Linfield continued their pre-season preparation with a defeat against Harland and Wolff Welders.

On the plus side, I spent a lot of the evening chatting to friends, visited a ground i’d never been to, and got some good shots.

The picture of the guy sitting on his chair (I think he’s a H and W official) relaxing and watching the football is what it is all about. He is probably the happiest man in the world.

My next game, came at Easter Road for the Edinburgh Derby between Hibs and Hearts.

I go to Edinburgh every year, and usually try to watch a game while i’m there, so it was pure luck that it happened to be that game when I was there.

Having been to Tynecastle twice in 2011, it was always going to be the case that the fixture computer would give me a trip to Easter Road.

I was actually hoping that it would be against Dundee United as I could tick them off my UEFA 100 Club list.

Was an enjoyable game with nice weather and got some good shots, so it was all good.

My next visit came three days later for the international between Scotland and Australia, played in a downpour of rain, the most Scottish weather possible.

While checking the Northern Ireland score that night, it was announced that Arsenal and Manchester United had done a deal for the transfer of Robin Van Persie.

Interestingly enough, the only other time I was at a Scotland home match, I got a text to say that Mikael Silvestre had joined Arsenal.

It appears that when I go to a Scotland home match, Arsenal and Manchester United do a transfer.

Upon my return to Belfast, it was Windsor Park bound for the matches against Coleraine and Donegal Celtic, my first domestic games of the season.

It was great to be up and running.

Harland and Wolff Welders v Linfield

Hibernian v Heart of Midlothian

Hibernian v Heart of Midlothian Photo Album

Scotland v Australia

Scotland v Australia Photo Album

Linfield v Coleraine

Linfield v Donegal Celtic

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 – AUGUST

August was a busy month from start to finish, camera in hand, I went snap happy.

The month began with a trip to Tillysburn Park (my first visit there) to see Linfield’s last pre-season game, against Harland and Wolff Welders.

Nice wee ground, and got some nice shots, which was handy as the game wasn’t up to much (Welders won 1-0 since you ask)

The following week, I made my annual trip to Edinburgh for the festival. While there, I got some Street Art photos and got photos of the two football matches I went to.

The first match was Hibs v Hearts at Easter Road, my first visit to Easter Road since 2009. Nice wee ground and had a good shooting position. It was a beautiful sunny day which gave me lots of natural light to work with as well.

Three days later, I was back for the international between Scotland and Australia. Was in a different stand but got some ok shots, mainly due to it being darker than usual for that time of year.

Upon my return, I was straight into Belsonic, being in the front row for Madness, a band I have loved for ages and finally got to see.

Also got some good photos of Noel Gallagher a few days later.

Was at Two Door Cinema Club as well and didn’t get as good pictures as I wanted.

In amongst that, managed to get photos of Linfield matches against Coleraine and Donegal Celtic. Standard Windsor Park phototaking arrangements, but it was great to be back.

Harland and Wolff Welders v Linfield

Edinburgh Street Art

Hibs v Hearts

Hibs v Hearts Photo Album

Scotland v Australia

Scotland v Australia Photo Album

Madness Live At Belsonic

Madness Live At Belsonic Photo Album

Linfield v Coleraine

Belfast Street Art

The Enemy Live At Belsonic

The Enemy Live At Belsonic Photo Album

Noel Gallagher Live At Belsonic

Noel Gallagher Live At Belsonic Photo Album

Noah and the Whale Live At Belsonic

Noah and the Whale Live At Belsonic Photo Album

Two Door Cinema Club Live At Belsonic

Two Door Cinema Club Live At Belsonic Photo Album

Linfield v Donegal Celtic