MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : MATCH – 19.10.1985

Running away with the league title, Mark Hughes is the cover star as Match asks if this is Untied’s best ever team.

Also making a good start was Reading, who secured the record for most successive wins at the start of the season with a win at Newport, and they get three pages.

Frank McAvennie gets a full page profile, with opposing players who have faced West Ham giving their opinions of him, after 10 goals in his first 11 games for West Ham.

Former Manchester United manager Tommy Docherty gets asked to compare the current United team with their European Cup winning side of the 1960s, giving each player a mark out of 10, with the 1985 team winning 98 to 89.

In Scotland, the East Terracing at Hampden Park will be renamed the Jock Stein Stand in memory of the former Scotland manager, who died recently.

Aberdeen, Dundee United and St Mirren are all flying the flag for Scottish football in Europe this week.

Also in European competition, Bangor City of Wales have hit the jackpot after being drawn against Spanish giants Atletico Madrid.

Glenn Roeder of Newcastle United gets asks about his favourites, and his favourite cartoon character is The Pink Panther.

Advertisements

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

SCOTLAND 1-0 NORTHERN IRELAND 25.3.2015

Northern Ireland made the short trip to Hampden Park for their first match of 2015, a friendly against Scotland.

If 2014 was a year of great progress, Northern Ireland will be hoping 2015 continues in that fashion, which would make 2016 a very enjoyable year.

The lack of an international date in February this year necessitated this game, as both sides wanted to give players game time to ensure they don’t go into vital qualifiers this week “cold”

With Scotland facing Gibraltar at home on Sunday, they obviously chose Hampden Park for this game so they would have two games in Glasgow, and not have the inconvenience of travel withing Scotland.

It marked a departure in policy from the Scottish FA, as recent friendlies (barring England, which would obviously have a high demand for tickets) have been played at Easter Road or Pittodrie.

Either of those venues would have been perfectly suitable for this game. Either venue would have represented a first for me – i’ve never been to Pittodrie, and i’ve never been in the away end at Easter Road.

Northern Ireland were hoping to improve on (relatively) recent results against Scotland, failing to score in their previous three meetings (0-3, 0-0, 0-1)

I’d been to Hampden Park twice before, for Northern Ireland’s last game in Scotland in 2008, and the Scottish Cup Semi-Final in 2013 between Falkirk and Hibs, which took place on a weekend when I was in Glasgow, so I knew how to get there and what the local area was like, which was handy.

Somewhere near Hampden Park I wanted to visit but never got the chance to was Cathkin Park, former ground of Third Lanark, now a public park, with the terracing and pitch still there.

A video from 2011 of the venue can be found here.

Unsurprisingly, both teams made changes from their previous qualifier in November. If the players on the pitch were unfamiliar, the kits they were wearing was just as unfamiliar, with both teams wearing their away kit – Northern Ireland in blue and navy, Scotland in white, pink and yellow.

Northern Ireland had an early attacking moment when a cross was whipped into the box, but it was Scotland who had most of the attacking play and attempts on goal, Michael McGovern saving from a Steven Fletcher early on. Most of Scotland’s attacking play came through Ikechi Anya.

McGovern had a busy night. Curiously enough, Michael McGovern was playing in the lat match at Hampden Park I was at. He was busy that day as well, saving a penalty.

Northern Ireland didn’t help themselves, giving the ball away too easily in defensive positions. Too many Scotland attacks began that way.

Despite that, Northern Ireland looked good when they broke, though their attacks weren’t as frequent as people hoped. The best moment came when Oliver Norwood fired a shot over after a flick on from Josh Magennis.

The second-half saw the inevitible multiple substitutions. Scotland were still on top but didn’t have as many chances as they did in the first-half.

As each minute passed it looked like being a 0-0 draw. As the game neared it’s end, Northern Ireland had some attacks, the best of which saw Josh Magennis fired wide from a wide position. This was followed by a flurry of corners.

With five minutes to go, Scotland won a corner, which was headed home by Christophe Berra. It was a disappointing goal to concede. Even though Scotland were the better team, it was frustrating getting so close to a draw to lose the game.

Once they went 1-0 up, Scotland were able to see the game out, Northern Ireland couldn’t even get a chance to equalise.

Staying in Scottish football, Edinburgh City won the Lowland League, setting up a play-off against the Highland League winners to play-off against the team that finishes bottom of League Two. If they go up, I might go and see them if I go to Edinburgh in August.

So, Northern Ireland’s year is off to a losing start, but this wasn’t a must-win game. Finland on Sunday is. Let’s hope we can do it.

Photo Album

See also

Scotland v Northern Ireland 2008 Photo Album

Northern Ireland v Scotland 2011

Northern Ireland v Scotland 2011 Photo Album

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 – APRIL

It’s fair to say that April was a busy month.

The first Saturday of the month, I went to two football matches in a day, both Irish Cup Semi-Finals. That night, I went to see Ellie Goulding at Waterfront Hall.

The following morning, I went to get some Street Art photos from the Lagan Towpath.

Three days later, I was in Glasgow to see Linfield in a friendly. I stayed for a few more days so I could see James at SECC, supported by Echo and the Bunnymen.

While I was in Glasgow, I managed to get some Street Art pictures, and attended the Scottish Cup Semi-Final between Falkirk and Hibs.

As you can imagine, I went camera happy during that trip.

Upon my return to Belfast, I was out getting photos of a mural of Bananaman in Great Victoria Street, as you do, before seeing Linfield finish off a miserable season with two home defeats.

Glentoran v Portadown

Glentoran v Portadown Photo Album

Cliftonville v Crusaders

Cliftonville v Crusaders Photo Album

Ellie Goulding Live At The Waterfront Hall

Ellie Goulding Live At Waterfront Hall Photo Album

Down By The Towpath

Glasgow Street Art

Glasgow Street Album Photo Album

Rangers v Linfield

Rangers v Linfield Photo Album

Falkirk v Hibernian

Falkirk v Hibernian Photo Album

Echo and the Bunnymen Live At SECC

Echo and the Bunnymen Live At SECC Photo Album

James Live At SECC

James Live At SECC Photo Album

Bananaman/Stay Puft

Linfield v Ballinamallard United

Linfield v Crusaders

PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON – APRIL/MAY

April began, like February, with two matches in one day.

Unlike when I was in London, I knew where I was going. I went to both Irish Cup Semi-Finals as a neutral.

The Glentoran v Portadown game wasn’t very good, and I didn’t get much in the way of photos. Crusaders v Cliftonville was a batter game with better photos, the Sydenham End of The Oval being a lot more photo friendly

The following midweek, I was in Glasgow for the friendly between Rangers and Linfield. The match wasn’t great, but it was a friendly, so I was hardly expecting both teams to go for it, especially with it being towards the end of the season (ie – if it was in pre-season, it would have been a lot more intense, with teams working towards the new season)

Ibrox is a fantastic stadium, architecturally stunning on the outside and inside. Managed to get some fantastic shots of the ground. Not so much match action, as I was closer to the corner flag when Linfield had their bets spell of attacking, in the second-half.

I stayed in Glasgow for a few more days, and went to the Scottish Cup Semi-Final between Falkirk and Hibernian. A brilliantly crazy game for a neutral, maybe not so much if you supported one of the two teams. Got some ok photos, Hampden PArk, as fantastic stadium as it is, isn’t very photo friendly.

Upon my return, I went to Linfield’s last two games of the season. Fixture fulfillment really, and making sure I got my money’s worth out of my Season Ticket.

I would have got more Value For Money if i’d stayed at home.

But that wasn’t the end of the season. The following week, I went to Clandeboye Park to see Bangor beat Tobermore United and avoid relegation.

And with that, my season was over.

Glentoran v Portadown

Glentoran v Portadown Photo Album

Crusaders v Cliftonville

Crusaders v Cliftonville Photo Album

Rangers v Linfield

Rangers v Linfield Photo Album

Falkirk v Hibernian

Falkirk v Hibernian Photo Album

Linfield v Ballinamallard United

Linfield v Crusaders

Bangor v Tobermore United

Bangor v Tobermore United 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,

FALKIRK 3-4 HIBERNIAN 13.4.2013

Having been in Glasgow over the weekend, I decided to take in the Scottish Cup Semi-Final at Hampden Park between Falkirk and Hibernian.

I turned up and got a ticket on the day with no problems from a ticket booth outside the ground. It was only 15 quid, which wasn’t bad for a match of this magnitude, seeing as I had paid the same amount for a friendly at Ibrox three days earlier.

I had the choice of ends, so went for the Falkirk end. Nothing against Hibs, I just fancied cheering on the underdogs.

My seat was right at the back of the stand behind the goal (to the left of your TV screen) but there were enough empty seats for me to head down for a closer view of the pitch.

That said, the seat I had at the back of the stand had a fantastic view.

Just over five minutes in, Falkirk went 1-0 up and the end I was in went delirious. Hibs missed an amazing chance to equalise. You need to Youtube it. It was easier to miss, but the player lost his composure.

In fact, the whole Hibs team had lost their composure, as Falkirk looked more comfortable with and without the ball.

By 29 minutes, Falkirk were 3-0 up. I looked around and saw people in disbelief. Falkirk deserved this lead.

At half-time, I walked around the forecourt, and saw grown men hugging each other in disbelief. I imagine it was probably the same in the Hibs end, but for opposite reasons.

When it went to 3-0, there were Hibs fans leaving the ground. The anger was clear to see. Every misplaced pass was met with groans.

The second-half was entirely different, with Hibs fans having a more United front, getting behind their team. Instead of groans, misplace passes were met with words of encouragement.

When coming from 3-0 down, you need an early second-half goal. When the ball went in, there seemd an inevitability that Hibs would go on to win.

The onslaught never happened. With each passing minute, Falkirk fans around me dared to believe they would win, especially when Leigh Griffiths missed a penalty.

That hoped was dashed when Hibs scored twice in five minutes to send the game to extra-time.

Despite a breather between full-time and extra-time, once the game restarted, it was all Hibs, and they went 4-3 up through Griffiths.

From there, Hibs didn’t look like losing the lead, though Falkirk had a great chance towards the end of the game.

It was an enjoyable game to be at as a neutral, maybe not so if you support one of the two teams, especially Falkirk.

Photo Album