2016 IN PICTURES – MARCH

March began for me at Solitude, to see Linfield take on Cliftonville in the Irish Cup, and get their first win there for four years.

The following week, Glentoran were the opponents, but the result was the same, a 3-0 win for Linfield.

After that, it was Solitude again, with Linfield only managing a 2-0 win this time.

Over the Easter Weekend, I went to see Northern Ireland take on Wales in Cardiff, and decided to make a trip of it between Bristol and Cardiff, getting some Street Art photos, and see Bristol Rovers take on Cambridge United.

Upon my return, I headed to Windsor Park to see Northern Ireland take on Slovenia.

The next day, I headed to Warrenpoint to see Linfield take on Warrenpoint, ending a busy Easter period of football watching.

Cliftonville v Linfield

Linfield v Glentoran

Cliftonville v Linfield

Bristol Street Art

Bristol Street Art Photo Album 1

Bristol Street Art Photo Album 2

Cardiff Street Art

Cardiff Street Art Photo Album

Wales v Northern Ireland

Wales v Northern Ireland Photo Album

Bristol Rovers v Cambridge United

Bristol Rovers v Cambridge United Photo Album

Northern Ireland v Slovenia

Northern Ireland v Slovenia Photo Album

Warrenpoint Town v Linfield

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PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON – MARCH

March began for me at Solitude, seeing Linfield beat Cliftonville 3-0 in the Irish Cup.

The following saw another 3-0 win for Linfield, this time at home to Glentoran.

It was back to Solitude the following week, this time for a league match, Linfield only managing a 2-0 win.

Over the Easter Weekend, I went to see Northern Ireland take on Wales in Cardiff, before heading to see Bristol Rovers v Cambridge United the following day.

Upon my return, it was matches on successive days on Easter Monday and Easter Tuesday – Northern Ireland’s home match against Slovenia, and Linfield’s trip to Warrenpoint.

Cliftonville v Linfield

Linfield v Glentoran

Cliftonville v Linfield

Wales v Northern Ireland

Wales v Northern Ireland Photo Album

Bristol Rovers v Cambridge United

Bristol Rovers v Cambridge United Photo Album

Northern Ireland v Slovenia

Northern Ireland v Slovenia Photo Album

Warrenpoint Town v Linfield

That match against Slovenia saw a pop-up shop appear in the Railway Stand for fans to be sold Northern Ireland merchandise.

NORTHERN IRELAND 1-0 SLOVENIA 28.3.2016

Slovenia were the visitors to Windsor Park for Northern Ireland’s opening home game of 2016, one of only two before they jet off to France this summer.

Northern Ireland’s record against Slovenia is relatively good, having met four times in the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 Qualifying campaigns, winning two and drawing one of those games, keeping clean sheets in three of those games.

It was a changed line-up from the game against Wales, with Michael Smith and Conor Washington being given a late opportunity to force their way into the 23 for France.

It was Slovenia who looked the most dangerous in the first-half, getting in behind Northern Ireland’s defence a worrying amount of times, only for waste the chances they had.

Conor Washington was Northern Ireland’s livliest attacking player, doing a Pat McCourt-esque run past a Slovenian defener, only for the goalkeeper to make himself big and save the shot.

The next time, he wasn’t so lucky, as on 41 minutes, Washington forced his way past a Slovenia defender to set himself up for a shot to put Northern Ireland 1-0 up.

By the end of the game, the Railway Stand was singing his name. That’s one way to make an impression.

In the second-half, Northern Ireland brought on Kyle Lafferty and Josh Magennis. A rare outing for the pair of them together, as it’s usually one or the other.

They combined well together, but could get a second goal to kill the game, usually denied by a last gasp tackle or some rotten luck.

It looked like they were going to rue those missed opportunities when Slovenia were awarded a penalty on 64 minutes.

In their previous two visits to Windsor Park, Slovenia had failed to score. Roy Carroll’s save ensured that run would continue for them.

It wasn’t as important as the kick he saved against the Faroe Islands in October 2014, but it was celebrated just as much.

Northern Ireland were able to see the game out and get a 1-0 win, making it ten games unbeaten for Northern Ireland.

There’s never a bad time to go ten games unbeaten, but in the build-up to a major tournament is certainly a good one.

Up next, a home game in May against Belarus followed by a trip to Slovakia, before the big night (well, teatime) against Poland in Nice.

Conor Washington gave himself a great chance of being there.

Photo Album

Northern Ireland v Slovenia 2011

Northern Ireland v Slovenia 2011 Photo Album

STLFTEM ROUND-UP 2011

Seeing as it’s the end of the year, almost, I thought I’d keep you all up to date with my STLFTEM for 2011.

For those who don’t know, STLFTEM is basically Something To Look Forward To Every Month.

I started it in 2009, and it basically is to have something to go, see or do every month, and look forward to it.

The only rules are that it has to be something seen in person. Therefore, watching Euro 2012 on TV won’t count for June next year.

Also, I can have more than one STLFTEM each month. In fact, I can have as many as I wish.

January was a bit of a cheat, as I went to the Linfield v Glentoran match postponed from 26th December 2010. But, my lifestyle ethos, my rules.

February was a bumper month as I went to Barcelona for a weekend, and then the following Wednesday, I went to see Northern Ireland take on Scotland.

March was also a Northern Ireland match. A 0-0 draw v Slovenia. Yep, that was well worth the wait.

April was a bumper month with a title showdown for Linfield against Crusaders and three matches against Glentoran, one of which was an Irish Cup Semi-Final. Not only that, but there was also the matter of Beady Eye’s first concert in Belfast.

Four wins, and an excellent concert made it a worthwhile month.

May was all about travelling as I went to the UEFA Cup Final, and Manchester United’s last match of the season, against Blackpool.

June was quiet, but I did go and see 3OH!3

July was also quiet, but Linfield playing in Europe and a pre-season friendly against Derriaghy were enjoyable. As I stated earlier, some months are a struggle.

August was busy with the start of the new Irish League season and trips to Edinburgh and Brighton.

September was the Arthur’s Day concert at Ulster Hall (Any my ticket was free)

October was another concert at Ulster Hall, Noah and the Whale. There were fantastic.

I’d hoped that November would be going to the MTV EMAs. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get a ticket, so I had to make do with a trip to Old Trafford to see United take on Sunderland.

December will be the Boxing Day match at The Oval. If that bites the dust because of the weather, I’ll make it the Ulster v Aironi match two weeks ago (Again, a free ticket)

Well, that is how i’ve managed to have STLFTEM throughout the year, but I’ve already got some lined up for 2012.

In January, I’m going to see Roy “Catchphrase” Walker as part of the Out To Lunch Festival.

February will be a busy month as I’ll be taking a break to Amsterdam from 3rd-6th, then going to see Noel Gallagher at The Odyssey on 16th, before flying to Manchester on 23rd.

I’m hoping to see United v Ajax. I’ve no ticket sorted as yet, but I’m confident I’ll get one.

Pretty tempted to go and see The Beat at The Limelight in March. Undecided as yet.

August of course, will see me head to Edinburgh for the Festival. If I could afford to, I’d spend the whole month there.

So that, is how I’ve managed to enjoy myself at least once a month this year and how I plan to do so next year.

If you have any suggestions for any of the months, feel free to get in touch and suggest.

2011 IN PICTURES – MARCH

Not a lot happening this month, but I did managed to take advantage of the nights getting longer by snapping some sunsets on my way home from work.

Add to that some football shots from Linfield and Northern Ireland.

Enjoy.

I Love You

St Paddy’s Day Sunset

Linfield v Lisburn Distillery

Northern Ireland v Slovenia

Northern Ireland v Slovenia Photo Album

PHOTO OF THE SEASON : 2010-2011

Apologies for the crap headline, but it was fated against me.

I’d hoped for “Newry to Nou Camp” but didn’t have any pictures from Newry on the list. For the same reason, “Ballymena to Barcelona” was canned.

Hope you enjoyed my month by month round-up of the football season just past, so I just thought i’d create a shortlist of my favourites, and allow people to vote in them.

I did something similar last season, and the winner was a picture of Windsor Park in the snow, while a picture of Michael Owen celebrating a goal came in second.

There a no pictures of snow or Michael Owen in this compilation, so enjoy, and feel free to vote.

For what it’s worth, my two main favourites are the pictures of Steven Douglas and Jim Ervin. It’s not that I have a throw-in fetish, but the composition just works.

Douglas at Dungannon

This came on the second Saturday of the Irish League season. Dungannon is a ground which is friendly to amateur photographers, so I was hopeful of getting a good shot.

Linfield got a throw where I was based, and play was stopped as a Dungannon player required treatment for an injury.

As Douglas waited, I siezed the opportunity to make the most of the framing, and this was the result.

Berbatov

Technically speaking, it’s not the greatest photo ever taken, but it’s just the emotion of it and people’s reaction which makes my love it.

This is what it feels when United score against Liverpool

Seaview Corner Flag

Got a similar photo at Richmond Park last season, so took the opportunity during a break in play at a game at Seaview to try likewise.

Again, I love the composition.

Corner Kick

Linfield, 2-1 down and chasing an equaliser, have a corner kick late on. I was quite close to the pitch and the composition just worked.

It was actually a productive phototaking day for me, pity about the result.

Burger Queue

January saw me visit Solitude for the first time. At half-time, I went around these new surroundings to get photos, and saw this queue, which was composed beautifully with the fog in the background, and it just worked.

Nou Camp

Like Solitude, I visited the Nou Camp for the first time this season, and went snap happy.

This was my favourite of all the portrait shots I took.

Charlie Adam

A few days after Barcelona, I was in Dublin for the Northern Ireland match against Scotland.

Aviva Stadium is kind to amateur photography, even if some of the views are dreadful.

The only attacking action I saw in front of me was when Scotland were on the attack in the first-half, where I took the opportunity to snap Charlie Adam as he took a corner.

Free-Kick

Tension builds as Northern Ireland have a free-kick against Slovenia in a Euro 2012 Qualifier.

For me, the composition just works.

Jim Ervin Throw

A frustrating evening of phototaking but the right result, the opposite of my previous visit.

I just love this photo of Jim Ervin.

Supervisor

Using people as props, I managed to snap Linfield fans watching their team’s match against Glentoran at The Oval.

Depressingly, it also shows the low attendance by this fixture’s standards that day.

PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON : MARCH

Just the three matches attended this month, and not a lot of productive phototaking.

Best ones I managed was of Jamie Mulgrew taking a corner against Distillery, and a couple from the bore draw between Northern Ireland and Slovenia.

Dungannon Swifts v Linfield

Linfield v Lisburn Distillery

Northern Ireland v Slovenia

NORTHERN IRELAND 0-0 SLOVENIA 29.3.2011

Was at Windsor Park on Tuesday night for the Euro 2012 Qualifier between Northern Ireland and Slovenia, which was won by Italy, as the draw here, and Estonia has put them halfway towards the finals without kicking a ball.

Sometimes, you just know a game is going to finish 0-0. This, was one of those games.

On the positive side, I did manage to get some photos, and I got a free poncho.


Photo Album

SLOVENIA STICKERS

Next week, Slovenia will arrive at Windsor Park for a Euro 2012 Qualifier against Northern Ireland.

They’ve been there before, just short of two years ago for a World Cup Qualifier.

When visiting, their fans certainly left their mark on Belfast City Centre. I mean that, in a good way.

It seems to be customary for visiting football fans to leave stickers in cities they visit to indicate a supporters group they belong to, be it their national side or their club team.

Hopefully, when they are here next week, they will do likewise.

If you’re about in Belfast City Centre and you think you see someone taking a close-up photo of a lampost, do say hello.

Slovenija

Green Dragons

Olimpija Ljubljana