ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC 0-2 IFK NORRKOPING 11.7.2019

My summer of Scandinavia continued with a trip to Richmond Park while I was in Dublin, to see St Patrick’s Athletic take on Norrkoping in the UEFA Cup.

All I know about Norrkoping is that it was a host venue at Euro 92, hosting games between Scotland, Germany and CIS. If you can’t remember what CIS was, it was the Soviet Union version of Beady Eye.

It was a stroke of luck I was at this game. I knew I would be in Dublin on a European night, but there would be only one Dublin team in the UEFA Cup. Then Waterford weren’t able to enter and got replaced by St Patrick’s Athletic, meaning there were two options.

Then both them and Shamrock Rovers were drawn to be away on 11th July. Flip sake. But things were saved due to UEFA not being keen on two games in the same city on the same night (although Belfast staged two games on Thursday) and the legs of this tie were switched, so off to Richmond I went.

That would have been bad news for Pat’s fans, as I am a bit of a jinx for them. My previous two visits to Richmond Park had brought two 0-0 draws, while they failed to beat Linfield at Windsor Park when I saw them in 2008 and 2010.

And then there was a 5-1 mauling at Dalymount Park in 2016.

I’m willing to listen to offers if Bohs, Shelbourne and Shamrock Rovers fans are wishing to crowdfund for me to go to all their matches. Obviously i’ll need travel, ticket and loss of earnings from working half-day every Friday to be paid for.

This wasn’t my first UEFA Cup game in Dublin. My previous one was a bit more grand, the 2011 Final at Lansdowne Road.

It wasn’t even first time i’d seen a team from Republic of Ireland take on a team from Sweden, having been at the match between the respective national sides at Euro 2016.

The top five things I love about Richmond Park:

1. It has a programme shop.
2. It has a programme shop.
3. It has a programme shop.
4. It has a programme shop.
5. It has a programme shop.

I had a look around. There are a few Linfield bargains to be had, and not all the programmes are matches against St Pat’s.

Both teams started off nervously, both sets of players making basic mistakes.

It was summed up by Mikey Drennan leaving a through ball he could have got, Norrkopping’s defence and keeper leaving it for each other, inviting Drennan to chase it, resulting in a tackle which conceded a cheap throw.

Despite enduring a frustrating half, Drennan caused enough concern in the Swedish defence for one of them to get a yellow card for a cynical foul as he advanced goalwards.

The standout name on the away teamsheet was Jordan Larsson, at the centre of everything Norrkopping did in an attacking sense. The ball stuck to him every time he got it. On his left foot at least, he really needs to go to the Right Foot Shop to get one.

I’m sure his dad will be happy to offer him advice, former Manchester United loan signing Henrik Larsson.

Despite Larsson troubling them, St Pat’s held their own in the first-half. A quick free-kcik resulted in a shot that went just wide across the goalkeeper.

They also had a couple of penalty appeals turned down. I didn’t think they were penalties, but my view was a minority where I was. They were the sort of ones you will appeal for, but not for me.

Early in the second-half, Norrkoping went 1-0 up with a low strike from Simon Thern. The irony was, with all the focus being on the son of an ex Celtic player, it was the son of an ex Rangers player, Jonas, who opened the scoring.

Larsson was determined to make it an Old Firm juniors double, but would be denied and frustrated. The closest he would come was from a shot which hit the post.

With just minutes remaining, Norrkoping got a second when a header was deflected in off a Pat’s defender.

I was behind the goal, and you could agonisingly see the ball change direction, and nobody could do anything about it.

Norkopping wanted more and a series of saves by Brendan Clarke stopped the scoreline from being worse.

Not totally out, but up against it, I think St Patrick’s Athletic fans would have preferred the 0-0 scoreline I usually bring them when I visit Richmond Park.

Photo Album

St Patrick’s Athletic v Drogheda United 2013

St Patrick’s Athletic v Sporting Fingal 2010

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : IRISH SOCCER MAGAZINE – FEBRUARY 1996

The Jack Charlton era has just ended, but it is Paul Campbell of St Patrick’s Athletic and Jason Sherlock of UCD who are the cover stars of this edition of Irish Soccer Magazine.

The editorial focuses on Cork City, who are facing financial problems, and are following in the footsteps of previous clubs in the city in this regard.

Charlton’s time in charged is reviewed, with his legacy being described as winning the Irish footballing public over to their national team. They also look at contenders to replace him, withKenny Dalglish, Joe Kinnear, Mick McCarthy, Ronnie Whelan and Dave Bassett all in the frame.

Whoever the new manager is, their first competitive game will be a World Cup Qualifier in Leichtenstein, after the draw for France 98, with the focus being on Macedonia as a potential dark horse in the group.

Charlton’s departure came at the end of a year when Republic of Ireland slipped from 6th to 19th in the UEFA Rankings, not as dramatic as Sweden, who fell from joint 1st to 24th.

Despite the fact that Republic of Ireland didn’t qualify, there is a fixture list for Euro 96 in their foreign news section, which claims that Manchester United are interesting in signing South African defender Mark Fish.

One team who might not be at France 98 is Nigeria, who have been threatened with expulsion after withdrawing from the recent African Nations Cup in South Africa.

There is a feature on new Finn Harps manager Charlie McGeever, who has just replaced Patsy McGowan, while Buckley Park, home of Kilkenny City is the subject of the monthly ground profile.

Jimmy Conway, a former Republic Of Ireland international, is now living in the USA. He talks to Irish Soccer Magazine about life in the States, revealing that they expect to win the 2002 World Cup.

The coverage of Charlton isn’t all fawning, with one writer stating that his reign did not boost the domestic game at all during his decade in charge.

There is an interview with the head of General Motors, Arnold O’Byrne, who reveals that their sponsorship of the Republic of Ireland team is as much to do with his love of football, as it is a business decision.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : IRISH SOCCER MAGAZINE – OCTOBER 1998

Paul Doolin of Bohemians and Denis Irwin are the cover stars of Irish Soccer Magazine, which you could have purchased for IR£1.50 at Tuthills. Sorry, I couldn’t get the sticker off.

The editorial focuses on Pat Dolan’s disillusionment with the League Of Ireland and his threat to quit, hoping that he doesn’t.

There is a preview of Republic Of Ireland’s forthcoming Euro 2000 away to Yugoslavia, stating that a draw would be a more than acceptable result.

That match would be postponed because of unrest in The Balkans, eventually being played in November 1998.

In foreign news, Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal are said to be involved in the creation of a European Super League.

There is a feature on TV coverage of football in Republic Of Ireland, as a new commercial broadcaster, TV3, is launched, and this is welcomed, as it means competition for RTE will mean they have to raise their game.

As well as looking forward to Yugoslavia, there is a look back at Republic Of Ireland’s opening Euro 2000 Qualifier, a 2-0 win over World Cup Semi-Finalists Croatia.

Eamonn Gibson has a column on British football, where he writes that the Bosman Rule and foreign import at other clubs have caused Manchester United to stand still. There is also a feature on the possibility of Wimbledon relocating to Dublin, after a recent poll claimed Dubliners were in favour of it.

There is a preview of domestic games in October, the highlight being the clash between St Patrick’s Athletic and Cork City at the end of the month.

There is also a preview of the games in September, a month that saw Brian Kerr awarded Manager Of The Month.

Cork City were recently in European action, and their defeat in the European Cup Winners Cup to CSKA Kiev gets a page of coverage.

In Dublin, St Patrick’s Athletic have announced plans to leave Richmond Park to build a new stadium at nearby St Michael’s Flats within the next five years, while the FAI have announced plans for a 40,000 all seater stadium, as well as redevelopment for Tolka Park and Dalymount Park.

The new commercial broadcaster TV3 gets a feature, focusing on their proposed football coverage, having bought the rights to Republic Of Ireland’s away Euro 2000 Qualifiers.

2016 IN PICTURES – MAY

May 2016 began for me by going to see Space. Not the planet, but the band, doing a gig at The Empire.

The following day, was the Irish Cup Final between Linfield and Glenavon, the less said about that game, the better.

The following weekend, I was in Manchester and managed to get some Street Art photos, including one of a mural of David Bowie in the Northern Quarter.

It certainly made up for not seeing any football, after the Manchester United v Bournemouth match that I travelled over for was postponed.

Towards the end of the month, I headed to Windsor Park to see Northern Ireland take on Belarus in their final home game before heading to Euro 2016.

Two days later, I headed to Dublin on a day trip, taking lots of Street Art photos and going to see Bohs take on St Patrick’s Athletic, my first visit to Dalymount Park in six years.

Space live at The Empire

Space live at The Empire Photo Album

Linfield v Glenavon

Linfield v Glenavon Photo Album

Manchester Street Art

Manchester Street Art Photo Album

Salford Quays Street Art

Salford Quays Street Art Photo Album

Northern Ireland v Belarus

Northern Ireland v Belarus Photo Album

Dublin Street Art

Dublin Street Art Photo Album

Bohemian FC v St Patrick’s Athletic

Bohemian FC v St Patrick’s Athletic Photo Album

PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON – MAY

And so to May, the final month of the season.

My football watching for the month began with the Irish Cup Final, as Linfield disappointingly lost 2-0 to Glenavon.

The following weekend, I was inside Old Trafford, getting ready to watch Manchester United v Bournemouth, until a forgetful security guard put paid to that.

That meant that it was three weeks until my next game, Northern Ireland v Belarus.

Two days after that, I took advantage of there being a full League Of Ireland fixture list on a Sunday of a Bank Holiday weekend, by heading on a day trip to Dublin, and taking in Bohs v St Patrick’s Athletic, my final game of the 2015-2016 season.

Linfield v Glenavon

Linfield v Glenavon Photo Album

Northern Ireland v Belarus

Northern Ireland v Belarus Photo Album

Bohs v St Patrick’s Athletic

Bohs v St Patrick’s Athletic Photo Album

BOHEMIAN FC 5-1 ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC 29.5.2016

Once a year, I like to do a day trip to Dublin, and while there, take in a League Of Ireland game.

Due to an international match being played on the League Of Ireland’s traditional Friday night slot, this round of games were moved to a Sunday afternoon, and on a Bank Holiday Weekend, made this round a no brainer for me.

I had my choice of matches. Shamrock Rovers were at home to Finn Harps. In the First Division, Shelbourne were at home to Limerick, while Cabinteely were at home to Drogheda United.

Shelbourne was tempting, but Tolka Park is relatively close to Croke Park, and with Springsteen in town, getting there and back was potentially problematic.

I’ve never been to Cabinteely, one of two senior football grounds in Dublin I haven’t been to (the other being UCD’s ground) and this was tempting. Unfortunately, I was only doing a day trip and didn’t have time to waste trying to find the ground.

Part of the reason for only doing a day trip, especially being off work on the Monday, was that I faffed about for so long booking a hotel, Springsteen announced a gig that day, and the prices soon drove up.

This match at Dalymount had it’s own special appeal to me. It had been six years since my last visit there, and it might be the last chance I have to visit there in it’s current form ahead of a proposed redevelopment, assuming they don’t take as long faffing about with stadium redevelopments in Republic Of Ireland as they do in Northern Ireland.

My only two visits to Dalymount Park have seen wins for Bohs, and their fans were hoping it would be a hat-trick for me, with their side 10th in a 12 team league, just 4 points clear of the relegation zone, against a St Patrick’s Athletic side not where they wanted to be, on the wrong side of a 4 point gap, as they chase European football.

Bohs went straight on the attack, with the confidence of a team higher up the league, and found themselves 1-0 up after 2 minutes with the ball was pulled back to Roberto Lopes, who scored from close range.

The tannoy blasted out Gold by Spandau Ballet, with the fans singing along, but changing “Gold” to “Bohs”. It was a sound we would hear quite a lot of times through the afternoon.

Just 2 minutes later, St Pat’s gifted the ball to Ishmail Akinade, who made it 2-0. Bohs fans were equally as stunned as the St Pat’s fans, and they were loving it.

St Pat’s were a mess in defence, and were lucky to get a goal kick when their keeper was charged down trying to clear the ball away. Given the start Bohs had made, it was surprising that the ball didn’t end up in the net.

The ball was in the net soon after, when Jake Kelly was played through and finished. It was too easy for Bohs.

St Pat’s actually reacted well to going 3-0 down. They had chances and pressure, usually blocked on the line, or just not getting the bounce.

At both ends of the pitch, everything was going Bohs way.

If you’re 3-0 up, it can’t be all luck, but bad finishing by Bohs and better by Pat’s would have seen the match narrative dramatically changed, that Pat’s had rode their luck earlier on to get a 1-0 lead without playing well.

Just as looked like St Pat’s might be getting a goal back to give them some hope in the second-half, Bohs made it 4-0 when Jake Kelly scored from close range.

The factfile of St Patrick’s Athletic in the match programme, listed the club’s record defeat as a 7-0 defeat at Dalymount Park in 1974. On the basis of the half just witnessed, that being equalled or beaten looked like a realistic possibility.

As the second-half started, it was Bohs who had the best chance when Akinade fired wide after being gifted possession.

St Pat’s had possession, but never looked like scoring.

That was, until Ian Bermingham headed home with just over 10 minutes to go. It was celebrated like a consolation goal rather than the beginning of a dramatic comeback.

If St Pat’s were hoping to launch a late rally, that hope was soon extinguished, when Sean Hoare was sent-off for a professional foul, coming about after Pat’s had again gifted away possession in their defensive third.

From the resulting penalty, Kurtis Byrne made it 5-1.

St Pat’s were able to avoid conceding any more with 10 men on the pitch, the damage was done in the first-half, specifically, the opening 12 minutes.

As the final whistle blew, Bohs fans naturally celebrated the win, cheering their team off the pitch. For me, that was the end of my 2015-2016 season.

Photo Album

PHOTO OF THE SEASON 2013-2014

So, another football season is over, time to look back. It’s taken in four countries and various stadiums, teams and levels. There was a lot of pictures, so here are my favourites. Feel free to vote for yours :

FUGLAFJORDUR

Taken just after the final whistle of Linfield’s match with Fuglafjordur as fans applauded, the composition and framing just works for me which is why I love the photo.

SKODA

Taken before Linfield’s match with Skoda Xanthi, again, the composition and the light works for me, as supporters walk to The Kop, ready for the 90 (well, in this match, it was 120) minutes that await.

JEFFREY

Like the other two, it’s all about the composition, as David Jeffrey observes the action during a pre-season match against Derriaghy CC

RICHMOND

Taken during my trip to Dublin, I took in a St Patrick’s Athletic game. The colours just make this photo for me, as is the fact you came see a rainbow over the stadium.

CAMERAS

Taken during the Northern Ireland v Portugal match, the two cameras, focused on the action in sync does it for me, alongside the composition of the players, so small in comparison with their surroundings.

BRISBANE ROAD

I’m a sucker for arty pics of football stadiums. I took this during a trip to London, when I took in a match at Leyton Orient.

THE OVAL

Linfield fans looking on, under the floodlights, as their side has a free-kick against Glentoran at The Oval.

ROONEY

Manchester United fans looking on as Wayne Rooney prepares to take a free-kick against Olympiacos.

SEAVIEW

Linfield fans looking one at a match at Seaview. Seaview is always good for photos.

BLUE

Arty one, take of seats in the South Stand at Linfield’s last game at Windsor Park before redevelopment, which the South Stand will be one of the main areas getting redeveloped.

CLARKE

Taken on the last day of the league season, love the composition, especially of the two players, one with the ball, and one trying to win the ball back,

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

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