MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : MATCH – 26.5.1984

Kevin Richardson and John Bailey are the cover stars of Match, which reviews the FA Cup Final, won by Everton by 2-0 against Watford.

Winning the FA Cup wasn’t enough for Everton captain Kevin Ratcliffe, who wanted this to be the springboard for a league title triumph.

In Scotland, Dumbarton have been promoted to the top flight for the first time, with star striker Kenny Ashwood confident his side can shock a lot of people.

One player leaving Scotland is Gordon Strachan, having left Aberdeen for Manchester United, and United striker Frank Stapleton uses his column to predict that Strachan will be an instant hit at Old Trafford.

Match’s preview of Euro 84 continues with Spain this week’s profiled team.

Ian Wallace has left Nottingham Forest for French side Brest, claiming Forest couldn’t afford to keep him.,

After an absence of 14 years, Sheffield Wednesday are back in the top flight, and midfielder Gary Shelton warning First Division sides not to underestimate them.

There is a double page picture special on York City, who won Division Four with more than 100 points.

England face Scotland at Hampden Park in the British Championship, and this match gets a full page profile.

Northern Ireland are also in action, heading to Finland in their first 1986 World Cup Qualifier.

The magazine ends with a poster of Costica Stefanescu of Romania ahead of the build-up to Euro 84.

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MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : SHOOT – 12.5.1990

Today at Wembley, an expensively assembled and underachieving Manchester United side with a manager under pressure and living in the shadow of a retired Scottish legend arrive at Wembley to take on Crystal Palace in the FA Cup Final, hoping that winning the FA Cup will be the springboard to an era of success.

If that sounds familiar, it’s because we’ve been here before, in 1990.

As supporters sat in front of their TVs with only four channels, unless you had one of those new on the market satellie dishes, it’s possible they may have been reading Shoot’s preview, which had a split cover of Brian McClair and Ian Wright as Manchester United face Crystal Palace.

As you open the magazine, Shoot has full page profiles on central defenders set to be involved, with Andy Thorn of Palace prepared to play through the pain barrier, and Gary Pallister of United aiming to prove he won’t be a flop at United, after a British Record transfer from Middlesbrough.

In news, Celtic manager Billy McNeill is planning a clear out in the summer, while Manchester United are planning to sign Denis Irwin from Oldham Athletic, who Shoot have erroneously described as a Dubliner.

Bray Wanderers will be facing St Francis in the FAI Cup Final at Lansdowne Road, the game moved from Dalymount Park after the FAI anticipated Derry City to win their Semi-Final against Bray.

Midfielders aren’t ignored in the game at Wembley, with Shoot doing a profile of Bryan Robson and Andy Gray.

Celtic are facing Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup Final, and Shoot does a full page profile on Jacki Dzieckanowski, where he reveals his favourite band is Dire Straits.

Aberdeen are represented with a full page profile of Brian Irvine, who talks about his Christianity.

After scoring winning goals in the 3rd Round and Semi-Final, Mark Robins gets profiled.

In world news, Bayern Munich became the first German club to be floated on the Stock Exchange.

Austria are this week’s preview ahead of the World Cup in Italy, mostly focusing on Toni Polster.

Curiously, Shoot does a double page interview with Mark Bright and Ian Wright as they go out for a cycle.

Liam Brady gets profiled ahead of Republic Of Ireland’s friendly against Finland, but his appearance will only be symbolic, as it is a farewell in his own testimonial, having retired from international football the previous September.

It won’t stop him going to Italy, as he’ll be going to the World Cup as a pundit for RTE.

David Rocastle talks to Shoot about his frustration at injuries leading to his loss of form. The article is accompanied by a competition where you can win The Rocky Road To Success, a VHS tape profiling David Rocastle.

Liverpool’s recent title success gets profiled, with Alan Hansen claiming the club can dominate English football for the next twenty years.

The magazine ends with a double page profile of Scotland ahead of the World Cup in Italy.

STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF A FOOTBALL YEAR : 2015

My football watching for 2015 is now over, so, it’s time for a statistical look back at the football I watched.

Games : 54

Goals Seen : 143

Red Cards : 10 (Doesn’t include Caoimhin Bonner being sent-off in the tunnel after the game)

Missed/Saved Penalties : 6

Hat-Tricks : 2 (Andrew Waterworth, Linfield v Dungannon Swifts. Andrew Waterworth, Linfield v Warrenpoint Town)

Teams Seen : 40

Arsenal, Ballinamallard United, Ballymena United, Bray Wanderers, Carrick Rangers, CE Europa (1st time), Cliftonville, Coleraine, Crusaders, Dundee (1st time), Dunfermline Athletic (1st time), Dungannon Swifts, Espanyol (1st time), Finland, Glenavon, Glentoran, Greece (1st time), Heart of Midlothian, Hibernian, Hungary, Institute, Latvia (1st time), Linfield, Manchester United, Masnau, Northern Ireland, NSI Runavik (1st time), Partick Thistle (1st time), Portadown, PSNI, PSV Eindhoven (1st time), Qatar (1st time), Rangers, Romania (1st time) Scotland, Sligo Rovers, Spartak Trnava (1st time), Tobermore United, Valencia (1st time), Warrenpoint Town

Stadiums Visited : 23

Ballymena Showgrounds, Carlisle Grounds, Drumahoe, East End Park (1st time), Estadi Cornella y Prat (1st time), Ferney Park, Fortwilliam Park (1st time), Gresty Road (1st time), Hampden Park, Ibrox, Milltown, Mourneview Park, Newforge (1st time), Nou Sardenya (1st time), Old Trafford, Seaview, Shamrock Park, Solitude, Stangmore Park, Taylor’s Avenue (1st time), The Oval, Tynecastle, Windsor Park

Competitions : 13

European Championship, European Cup, FA Premier League, Irish Cup, Irish League, Irish League Championship, La Liga, League of Ireland, Scottish Championship, Scottish League Cup (1st time), Scottish Premier League, Tercera Division (1st time), UEFA Cup

Curiousities :

No real curiousities, other than a match with kick-off delayed for an hour due to the weather

UEFA 102 Club : Espanyol, PSV Eindhoven, Valencia (now at 35 clubs)

2015 IN PICTURES – MARCH

March began on a musical theme with concerts taking up two of the first three evenings of the month, The Kooks at Mandela Hall and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds at The Odyssey.

The following Saturday, it was back to football, as Linfield took on Warrenpoint Town at Windsor Park.

The Saturday after that was a road trip to see Linfield take on Institute at Drumahoe.

Some new Street Art appeared in Belfast during the month, a tribute to the recently deceased Leonard Nimoy and a reappearance of the Teenage Kicks mural

There was more Street Art later in the month, when I headed to Glasgow to see Northern Ireland take on Scotland in a friendly, and took advantage of a clear day and some art on show.

From Glasgow, to Glenavon (well, Lurgan) for another football trip the Saturday after. The same result, a 1-0 defeat, but a more damaging than the one in Glasgow.

The day after, more football, as Northern Ireland took on Finland in a European Championship Qualifier. Managed to get some photos of the redevelopment of Windsor Park, which seemed to be going so well at that point.

Little did I know then, It would be my last time in The Kop before it got demolished.

The Kooks Live At Mandela Hall

The Kooks Live At Mandela Hall Photo Album

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds Live At The Odyssey

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds Live At The Odyssey Photo Album 1

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds Live At The Odyssey Photo Album 2

Linfield v Warrenpoint Town

Institute v Linfield

Spock’s Teenage Dreams

Glasgow Street Art

Glasgow Street Art Photos

Scotland v Northern Ireland

Scotland v Northern Ireland Photo Album

Glenavon v Linfield

Northern Ireland v Finland

Northern Ireland v Finland Photo Album

PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON : MARCH

After ending February with Irish Cup disappointment for Linfield, it was the league that concerned them in March, and began well with an easy home win over Warrenpoint Town.

The following week, it was off to Drumahoe to see Linfield grind out a win against Institute.

A blank Saturday was followed by a trip to Scotland to see Northern Ireland play at Hampden Park.

The football kept coming, as the following Saturday, I was headed to Mourneview Park to see Linfield lose 1-0 to Glenavon.

The following day, it was off to Windsor Park for a bit of Sunday football to see Northern Ireland take on Finland, and get some photos of the redevelopment of Windsor Park, which was going so well at that point.

Little did I know then, but it would be my last time in The Kop before it was demolished

Linfield v Warrenpoint Town

Institute v Linfield

Scotland v Northern Ireland

Scotland v Nothern Ireland Photo Album

Glenavon v Linfield

Northern Ireland v Finland

Northern Ireland v Finland Photo Album

NORTHERN IRELAND 2-1 FINLAND 29.3.2015

There was a lot of strangeness around Windsor Park today. It wasn’t just the fact the game was taking place on a Sunday, Northern Ireland’s first home game on this day of the week, it was the fact that Northern Ireland went into a game at this stage with fans expecting victory, a victory that would keep them in a qualifying position. Not something that happens too often.

The much expected and publicised protests, which the media had been foaming at the mouth over since the date for this game was confirmed in February 2014, never materialised. There were a few people handing out leaflets, a normal occurrence at certain Irish League grounds on Saturdays anyway.

It was Finland who made the better start, having a lot of possession in Northern Ireland’s half. Northern Ireland’s best moment in the opening stages came when an Oliver Norwood cross was whipped into a dangerous position, but there as nobody there to get on the end of it.

Finland had the first real chances when a shot had to be turned behind by Roy Carroll, and Niall McGinn had to clear off his line from a corner.

Within minutes, Northern Ireland had the ball on the net, but the goal was disallowed.

I’d love to say if it should have been a goal, but I missed it due to a latecomer telling me I was in his seat, but the stupid idiot was in the wrong section of the stand. I’m almost relived the goal was disallowed due to me missing it.

The game wasn’t going how Northern Ireland wanted. You could see the frustration from Kyle Lafferty. He was making the runs but not getting the passes.

It wasn’t long before Kyle Lafferty had an impact on the game, fighting for a lost cause to set up Jamie Ward through on goal. It seemed certain that Ward would score but it was saved by Finland’s goalkeeper.
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Lafferty’s next impact was to put the ball in the net. A set piece didn’t go as hoped, but it was headed back into the box, straight to Lafferty, who volleyed home.

Within minutes he made it 2-0. Jamie Ward lost his footing when trying to cross, but managed to do enough to get the ball to Conor McLaughlin to cross for Lafferty to score.

Both goals owed a lot to players fighting for the ball and making the most of a bad situation. In previous campaigns, the ball might have went out for a goal kick before it even went to Lafferty.

Despite Niall McGinn being unable to divert a shot going wide into the back of the net, it was Finland who had the better of things at the start of the second-half. Finland didn;t have any clear chances, but they had enough of the ball to cause Northern Ireland concern.

Northern Ireland needed to get a 3rd goal, but they couldn’t get out of their own half. The introduction of Stuart Dallas saw him run at Finland defence, and keeping the ball at that end of the pitch.

With each passing minute, it looked like Northern Ireland were going to see out a 2-0 win. Spoke too soon. As the clock approached 91 minutes, Roy Carroll was unable to hold onto a shot, and the rebound was put in.

The final moments were now going to be a lot nervier than hoped. Especially as Northern Ireland tried to put the ball out for a throw by the corner flag from kick-off, and only succeeded in putting the ball out for a goal kick.

Finland had a lot of possession in Northern Ireland’s half and won a corner. The crowd got nervous. Thankfully, Northern Ireland saw the game out and claimed the 3 points.

Elsewhere in the goup, Romania beat Faroe Islands 1-0 to remain top, 1 point ahead of Northern Ireland. The sides meet in the next matchday in June.

More importantly, Hungary were held to a 0-0 draw by Greece, meaning that Northern Ireland in 2nd place, 4 points clear of the Hungarians. Hopefully, Finland can get a result against Hungary in the next matchday.

The mathematics of qualification is, it’s too early, let’s just take one game at a time.

Before Romania, is Qatar in Crewe. Heading over for that game. The main appeal of that game is to visit a stadium i’ve never been to before, and to spend a day in Liverpool (haven’t been since 2010) afterwards.

So, having been to Glasgow, and got Crewe to come, it’s far too early to dream of my next Northern Ireland trip being of a gallic nature.

Photo Album

FOOTBALL IN 2015

Another year of football watching is over, and it’s all about looking forward to 2015. But what, realistically, are my hopes for 2015?

Well, these are my football watching hopes for 2015.

LINFIELD

Well, stating the obvious, I obviously want Linfield to win the Irish League and the Irish Cup.

This season’s Irish Cup draw has already given a treat in the form of an away game against Tobermore United – another new ground to visit.

In terms of pre-season, it’s the usual wishlist of Dundela, PSNI or Stranraer away. Seeing as we invited Cowdenbeath over for a friendly in the summer of 2014, would it be too much to ask for them to return the favour in the summer of 2015?

In terms of promotion, i’m hoping Carrick Rangers go up as i’ve never been there. So again, a new ground to visit. If there is to be another team promoted, hopefully it will be Ards or Bangor, with an away game early in the season on a sunny day.

Of course, there is also the ongoing redevelopment work at Windsor Park. It is expected for this to be completed by November.

Obviously, i’d be getting use of the South Stand, but hopefully, i’ll get an opportunity to sit in the Railway Stand just to see what it’s like. I’m guessing it might have to be used for a Linfield match before it is passed for a Northern Ireland match, in the same way Wembley had to stage an underage international with a restricted attendance before being allowed to host full events.

EUROPEAN FOOTBALL

Obviously, i’m hoping for Linfield to be in the European Cup, but i’m hoping that the other Irish League sides get fallen giants who are part of the 101 Club, that I can tick off my list.

The closest an Irish League side got in 2014 was when Crusaders got duffed by a Swedish team who went on to play Torino.

Seeing as Glenavon are best mates with PSV Eindhoven, if they want to invite them over for a friendly, that would be great.

MANCHESTER UNITED

I’m hoping to get to Old Trafford before the end of the season. I’ve nothing booked yet, but i’m eyeing either Tottenham in March or Arsenal in May.

Hopefully, there’s be European Cup football returning in September 2015. I might be tempted to a there and back group game. Just have to wait until the 2015-2016 fixture list comes out.

NORTHERN IRELAND

I’m planning to be at four Northern Ireland games in 2015 – the home games against Finland, Romania, Hungary and Greece. I bought a Block Booking for the first time ever for this campaign. The downside is, i’m going to go to hell for attending the Finland game, which is on a Sunday night.

Tempted by the Scotland friendly in March. Haven’t booked anything yet, but a quick there and back for an away friendly is very tempting.

EURO 2016

Whatever the fate of Northern Ireland’s qualification campaign, i’m planning to be in France in the summer of 2016. The reason i’m posting it with reference to 2015 is, the flights will probably go on sale in August/September 2015, and i’m planning to be straight in with my booking. The plan is to go out for the first four days of the tournament and be based in Paris, with two games there, one in Lille (one hour away) and Lens (one hour away)

BIRMINGHAM

Toying with the idea of heading to Birmingham in September for the Rugby World Cup, as Australia and South Africa play on successive days at Villa Park. If I was to do this, i’d be planning to try and take in a football match taking place in the city (if feasible) at either Birmingham City or Walsall. Nothing definite in this idea though.

BARCELONA

Going to Barcelona for a weekend in February. Espanyol are at home to Valencia that weekend, so i’m hoping to take in that match. I’m also looking at lower league sides in the area to try and catch more than one game. The most likely bet is CE Europa, who play in Spain’s 4th tier. Frustratingly, Barcelona B (in Spain’s second tier) are away that weekend, to Real Zaragoza, a 101 Club member.

LEAGUE OF IRELAND

I don’t plan to go to a League Of Ireland game every year, but there’s usually something that takes me to Dublin, so I end up taking in a game. If I do end up taking in a game in Dublin, hopefully, it will be UCD, as the Bellefield Bowl is the only football ground in Dublin I haven’t been to.

SCOTLAND

As well as the previously mentioned international i’m tempted by, i’m planning to head to Edinburgh in August for the festival. Obviously, there’ll be Hibs and Hearts, but i’m hoping they’ll be at home on a Sunday, leaving the Saturday free to see Spartans or Edinburgh City, hopefully by now promoted to League Two (4th tier)

Of the two, Edinburgh City look the most likely. The downside is, they play at an athletics stadium.

MOROCCO

One place i’m definitely not visiting in 2015 is Morocco. I was tempted as they were the host of the 2015 African Cup Of Nations. It turned out I made the right decision by not making plans, as they were stripped of hosting rights, which were given to Equatorial Guinea, which is a bit harder to get to.