PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON : JULY

After a two month break, my football watching for 2014-2015 began in early July, with the World Cup still going on (on the night of the first two Quarter-Finals) in Bray.

I was over there for a concert, and decided to take in a game as there was one on while I was there, a bottom of the table clash between Bray Wanderers and Drogheda United.

Carlisle Ground is a nice stadium for watching football in when it’s sunny. Unfortunately, when I was there, it was raining. A lot.

It was still an enjoyable game, with Drogheda winning 3-1.

On the night of the now infamous World Cup Semi-Final between Brazil and Germany, I was at Mourneview Park for the UEFA Cup tie between Linfield and B36 Torshavn, my first experience of seeing a Warren Feeney managed Linfield team in the flesh.

The following week, I was back at Mourneview Park again, for the next round against AIK, to see Linfield secure a fantastic 1-0 win. Unfortunately, a 2-0 defeat meant Linfield’s European hopes were over for another year.

Two days later, I was Bangor bound, as Linfield used Clandeboye Park for a friendly against Cowdenbeath.

My main reason for going was to check out the facilities at Clandeboye, which had recently had some renovation work and a new 3G pitch.

That was my football watching for July, the league season not long away from starting. It was great to be back watching football.

Bray Wanderers v Drogheda United

Bray Wanderers v Drogheda United Photo Album

Linfield v B36 Torshavn

Linfield v AIK

Linfield v Cowdenbeath

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

LINFIELD 1-1 B36 TORSHAVN 8.7.2014

Before Tuesday night, the last Linfield match I was at was at Mourneview Park. It was perhaps symbolic or symmetrical that my next should be at the same venue. In the nine weeks that have passed, people have left Linfield, and people have joined Linfield.

The most obvious, is in the dugout, with Warren Feeney as new manager, replacing David Jeffrey, who was in attendance on Tuesday as a supporter. Since you ask, the last Linfield match I attended where David Jeffrey wasn’t manager? A 0-0 draw v Glentoran on December 26th 1996.

Change on the pitch, in the dugout, and change at or of the club, Linfield playing home European ties (Until September, when we’re in the group stage, of course) at Mourneview Park, due to redevelopment of Windsor Park.

It’s two months and one day until an actual home ground there, against Warrenpoint on September 13th. Looking forward to that one, just to actually see in person the changes at the ground.

If you had to choose an alternative home ground, Mourneview Park wouldn’t be a bad choice. Not only is it the perfect size and modern stands, Linfield have an excellent record there. Though, the last time they played a European tie (v Randers in 2009, due to Windsor Park’s pitch being relayed) it resulted in a 3-0 defeat.

Linfield went into the game with a 2-1 first leg lead against familiar opponents, having beaten B36 in a penalty shoot-out in the European Cup in 2012. Linfield supporters were expecting this tie to be advanced without the need for a penalty shoot-out.

For me, and a few others I guess, this was my first viewing of Warren Feeney’s Linfield in the flesh.

B36 started the game with a few shots on goal, but shots you would expect Jonathan Tuffey (despite his wobbly moments last season, and even last week) to save.

Linfield then started to play some nice passes. There was some long passes, but the had a purpose. Players being proactive and running onto flicks, or running past defenders. Attackers were even prepared to run at defenders.

Linfield seemed to be able to get round the back, but not getting the bounce. You got the feeling if there was an early goal, it could end up 3 or 4-0.

The early goal came just after the quarter hour. A cross came in which looked to be overhit. It was great play by Aaron Burns to seize the opportunity to keep the move alive to get his foot onto it and play it across goal for Michael Carvill to score, who appears to be a penalty box poacher these days.

For the rest of the first-half, Linfield looked the most likely to score, without creating clear cut opportunities. 1-0 at half-time, things are going well so far.

In football, things can change in an instant, and B36 got a penalty in the opening minutes of the second-half, which they scored. Suddenly, it’s now a different game.

For a while after the goal, Linfield appeared nervous, but B36 never really looked like scoring. Despite that, you can never be too careful when there’s only one goal in it.

Eventually, Linfield regained their composure and got back into the game, but just couldn’t get that 2nd goal that would have made the final minutes a lot less nervous.

There were plenty of positives, there were plenty of negatives. One big positive was Peter Thompson off the bench. Hopefully, he can stay fully fit throughout the season. As the cliche goes, it would be like a new signing.

The final whistle went, and Linfield were through, to face AIK Solna next Thursday. A Massively improved performance will be needed against the Swedes to have a chance of keeping the tie alive before the trip to Stockholm.

Photo Album

Linfield v B36 – 2012

2013 IN PICTURES – OCTOBER

October began for me with a trip to Mourneview Park, to see Linfield take on Glenavon, one of the early season pacesetters.

It was a good day all round …… Linfield won, other results saw them go top of the league, and it stayed dry and I got some nice photos.

Enthused by that performance, I headed to The Oval three days later for a League Cup tie …….. and my enthusiasm was soon gone.

An awful game, an awful performance by Linfield, the only positive was that they won the tie on penalties.

Later that week, I went to my usual Ulster European game, against Leicester Tigers, getting a chance to see the redeveloped, but not yet finished, Ravenhill. It’s very impressive. Looking forward to visiting when it’s completely done.

The next day, I went to see Linfield have a routine win over Dungannon Swifts.

Meanwhile, the day after that, I was out and about in Belfast getting photos of Street Art.

The following Saturday, I was at Windsor Park for the match between Linfield and Crusaders. It was a 0-0 draw. Not an awful 0-0 draw, but not a lot of photo opportunities.

My only concert of the month, saw me see Primal Scream at The Limelight.

Two days later, I headed to Ballymena for the first time since January 2012 to see Linfield win 4-1 in four seasons in 90 minutes.

My final photo adventure of the month, was to get some satirical anti Barack Obama stencils which had appeared in Belfast recently.

Glenavon v Linfield

Glentoran v Linfield

Ulster v Leicester Tigers

Ulster v Leicester Tigers Photo Album

Linfield v Dungannon Swifts

Anyfin Is Possible

Linfield v Crusaders

Primal Scream Live At The Limelight

Primal Scream Live At The Limelight Photo Album

Ballymena United v Linfield

I See You

2011 IN PICTURES – AUGUST

A busy month full of travel began in the most glamourous of settings of a rainstorm in Lurgan, as Linfield travelled to Glenavon on the opening day of the 2011-2012 Irish League season.

It literally rained throughout the whole match, and I wasn’t in a brave enough mood to move from my seat to get photos.

I did get a nice portrait shot of Mourneview Park at the end of the game though.

The following Saturday, I was in Edinburgh. The weather wasn’t much better though.

I was over for the festival, but with Edinburgh having two SPL teams, I decided to take in a match as well.

That day, Hearts were playing Aberdeen, and I managed to get into a good shooting position.

The following Thursday, as a bonus, Hearts played Tottenham Hotspur in a UEFA Cup tie, and I managed to blag a ticket, and get some good shots.

I also managed to get a lovely shot of Princes Street Gardens on the Sunday teatime between the two games.

Managed to stumble across some excellent graffiti in the University area of the city.

There are no pictures from the festival, but a full write up can be found here

From Edinburgh, I headed to Brighton for the weekend, and loved it, a fantastic city.

Managed to get some fantastic sunset shots and some street art pictures as well.

I’d hoped to get to a match at The Amex but couldn’t get a ticket unfortunately, but I did manage to get some nice shots of the exterior of the ground.


Glenavon v Linfield

Northern Ireland v Faroe Islands

Hearts v Aberdeen

Hearts v Aberdeen Photo Album

Edinburgh Street Art

Hearts v Tottenham Hotspur

Hearts v Tottenham Hotspur Photo Album

Brighton Sunsets

Brighton Sunsets Photo Album

Brighton Street Art

The Amex

The Amex Photo Album