Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Denmark 0-1 Wales

You know I wasn't surprised. I backed Wales to win this one. I just think that any team with Aaron Ramsey in it can win the game. I know we're not supposed to out too much pressure on the lad, but hey I'm a fan. I jus love watching the kid play.

I usually enjoy listening to Ian Walsh's summaries but he had a bit of a poor night tonight. "I mustn't harp on, but Ramsey looks tired". But he did harp on. All through the second half.

I was also surprised by some of their tactical remarks. I assumed from the start that Bellamy would play deeper, but it seemed to surprise Walshy and even Ian Gwyn Hughes. And the half-tie switch of Ricketts for Edwards with Bale pushing on is a sign of things to come. Bale is struggling for confidence since he missed that penalty in Russia, and his defensive qualities are not great.

I expect Shearer will have another pop at bellamy's finishing, but at the moment I will forgive the man anything. I'm not sure Ramsey will be able to forget the chance that Bellamy had to put him through for an open goal on his debut.

I worry about how many times James Collins is left to distribute the ball. he inevitably goes for the 80 yard pass and loses posession. I was glad to see Ramsey dropping deep and picking it up. He overshadowed Collison in this respect. As a deep lying midfielder you would like to see Collison taking more responsibility.

Overall it was the most enjoyable Wales performance for many a game. We look very likely to create chances, and our defence is brave if not impenetrable. Once Denmark went behind, they looked like they could score when they needed to. That's pretty much the story for all our games at the moment. Our attitude is generally very good, but once our opposition get hungry, we struggle to cope.

Still, the result is great for confidence. Amd also for all those snipers who prefer to sit at home instead of wearing the red shirt. Face it lads, we don't need you. And isn't that hard to take?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Bangor City 0-2 Rhyl

Footage of this game and the incidents I describe can be seen at the Sgorio website.

I was greeted by a queue of people snaking round onto Farrar Road as I turned up with my camera to this one last night. I snuck through to the press entrance and took my place in front of the Farrar Road stand which Bangor usually attack. Rhyl must have won the toss because they made Bangor swap, and 500 people began the trek round the ground to stand behind the Rhyl goal.

I was on my way too until I noticed the arrival of about 30 Rhyl fans, some of whom began chanting as they entered the ground. They stood on the Farrar End and let rip with a number of tunes regarding their opponents. "I'd rather be a smackhead than a Blue". There were a couple fo songs about in-breeding too, and generally lariness aimed at the large gang of Bangor teenagers who decided to loiter and provoke.

There was only one steward to start with, and he was joined by a couple of others when the game started. The Bangor group edged closer to the Rhyl fans, and insults were freely traded. I nevcer thought I would see a cut-throat sign at a Welsh premier game , but there it was, coming from one of the young Rhyl lads, one of a few wearing Stone Island labels.

To be fair, I never thought it was going to kick off. These were very young kids and there were plenty of sensible heads around to calm things down. And the fuss did start to die down until Rhyl's second goal mid way through the first half.

Then I saw a crowd surge. You don't get many crowds at Welsh Premier games, let alone surges. There were punches thrown and it all got a bit nasty. The stewards bravely stepped in and re-inforcements were called. As the Bangor fans were moved away from the area, further scuffles broke out.

I took a number of pictures from pitch-side, though I'm not sure its in anyone's best interests that I publish them here. From what I could see it appeared that one of the older Bangor lads was trying to grab a flag from one of the Rhyl boys. Rhyl piled in and at one stage somebody was being kicked on the floor by half a dozen lads.

It got pretty messy. It was certainly the worst disorder I've ever seen at a Welsh Premier game, and probably the worst I've seen inside any ground for a few years. Isolated scores were being settled across the terrace and stewards had a tough time.

After that flurry, it was all over when the teams changed ends for the second half. By now the stewards were in the right place and about a dozen police were placed inside the ground.

Bangor will be in trouble for this I'm sure. Despite the extra security they had in place, when it came to the crunch, there were only a few flourescent jackets in amongst the Rhyl fans. I feel sorry for the club. The officials do try their best, but these people are volunteers and shouldn't be having to deal with social disorder issues.

If anybody from the club wants to see my photographs, please get in touch and maybe you can identify and ban a few of the people involved.

On the pitch it was one-sided. Bangor simply had nothing to threaten the Rhyl goal, and the game was effectively over after half an hour.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

inflatable igoals review

This is an igoal. It's inaflatable.

If you run a junior football team, it's more than likely that you will have spent hours on a muddy field in the rain trying to fit together 45 bits of plastic tubing to set up the gols for your kids team. It means that you have to arrive at least 45 mins before everyone else and you pray that all the bits are there.

Well we'd had enough, and when my mate Cags spotted these in a garden on Anglesey, he made enquiries. We got sponsorship from Greenwood Forest Park and I order a goal on Saturday, which arrived this morning. I decided to use JJB as we weren't sure what we were getting and thought that returns might be a little easier. The goal was £179, with a free football and some vouchers.

I'm not exagerrating when I say that I opened the bag and had set up the goal within 5 minutes.
All you do is find the valve, stick in the pump provided, and pump it up. It even has the nets already attached. We have the large size goals 12ft x 6ft, which means we can use them in matches.

It took a good 50 or 60 pumps and I don't think that I've inflated it to 100% yet. We're going to try it out on Saturday, and if it's successful we'll order the other next week. But so far so good.

They look fine, and they're certainly sturdy enough. they may be a little less rebound that off the plastic goals, but there's not much off them anyway. And if you peg it down properly, I reckon it's ideal for junior matches.