Thursday, 28 August 2014

July 2014

Twelve months on and it's the same old story...
As I write this we are approaching the end of August and the sense of Deja Vu from this time last year is overriding. That may seem daft inasmuch as we didn't actually begin our 2013/14 Central Midlands League campaign until the last Saturday in August, whereas this season we actually kicked off on time. However, without spoiling the next blog, at time of posting this the trip to bottom side Welbeck Welfare this Saturday (the 30th) almost represents a watershed in the season.
This is because for the second successive season we have entered the new CML campaign with a squad decimated by the loss of players who the management had previously been assured were confident had pledged themselves to the cause. what made this worse was that it was done on an almost drip-drip effect, with the last of six players announcing their departure some four games in to the new league season. There's little wonder then that the end of August finds Andy G in as low a mood as I've known him to be where football is concerned. And, sadly, the signs were there in pre-season
On top of our problems at Low Farm, my only trip to watch Rovers this month proved a disaster. Thank God for Yorkshire creekit!. Oh, and the prospect of #CityinEurope!  

Saturday 5th July
Friendly
Hull United 6 Easington United 1

The first signs that this could be another difficult summer came on a glorious summer’s afternoon at Dene Park. I’d had a bad feeling about this game against the former St Andrews FC from Wednesday of the week leading up to it; the evening that Jamie Wood and Jamie Barnwell of the club were guests on Radio Humberside’s Sports Talk Extra.
On the programme in question the two stalwarts of the local game told presenter James Hoggarth of their ambitious plans to eventually make Hull United the city’s second professional club. And I thought this would be a nice gentle starter...
Making things worse was the fact that the traditional rival attractions of summer meant Andy G was forced to field a somewhat depleted squad. Throw in a home side that included a few “stars” of the local game, a sweltering afternoon and a horrendous Dene Park playing surface (check out the pics) and a 6-1 defeat perhaps doesn’t seem too bad!
Not that I had to suffer it first hand – the annual corporate day at nearby Beverley Races meant I was cushioned somewhat from the sharp end. 
Having since seen 'The Citizens' establish early supremacy in the Humber Premier League and play in front of a reported crowd of 418 at their first home league game, who's to say this rather inglorious day at Dene Park may turn out to be the first part of a truly big chapter in the story of football in Hull...

Saturday 12th July
Friendly
Easington United 4 Hall Road Rangers 3

Fast forward a week and I was at Low Farm to see a stronger Eastenders line-up overcome Hull United’s ground-share neighbours Hall Road Rangers in an exciting affair.
On another warm day (despite the constant threat of sea fret never being far away) things looked bleak when the visitors – who included former local Mozzer in their ranks – went two up. Despite Eli’s wonder strike just before the break, the game again looked lost at 1-3. But then Rangers keeper Ryan Ramsden fumbled a cross under pressure for 2-3 and Frosty’s quickfire double secured a morale boosting win.    

Friday 18th July
The UEFA Europa League 3rd Qualifying Round Draw
FK AS Trencin (Slo) or FK Vojvodina Nur Sad (Ser) 
v Hull City (Eng)


At first glance it may seem strange to include a televised cup draw as part of what is in effect a diary of live events. But this was the first ever European competition draw involving the Tigers and so wasn’t to be missed. Unfortunately though it was; thanks to work collegue Mike’s phone ringing at precisely the time the two guys conducting things via the live stream announced who we’d got! For a while afterwards all I knew was that we had the possibility of a team beginning with V from somewhere in eastern Europe.  More importantly I learned that the second leg would be at the KC Stadium on Thursday 7th August and may therefore impinge on the Slush Family’s forthcoming trip to the Coronation Street studios!

Sunday 20th July
Super League
Hull Kingston Rovers 18 Salford Red Devils 38

As supposed “treats” go I suspect my mate Matt might say this wasn't the best. A child-free Sunday afternoon spent watching the Robins from the old school surrounds of the East Stand at the KC Lightstream Stadium should have been something to enjoy; in the same way that the Easter Derby had been. Given that Rovers had also been impressive in their last home outing, when destroying leaders St Helens in Chris Chester’s first game as interim coach, and that they’d held Grand Final favourites Leeds 0-0 for an hour at Headingley the previous weekend, hopes were high that we’d be far too hot for the visitors to handle. Fortified by a pint and half of over-priced black stuff (I was driving) things didn’t seem too bad at the break. True it hadn’t been a classic but Rovers led 12-4 and probably should have been further ahead. Both sides looked average and Salford had hardly shown signs of what was to come.
Then Dave Mack turned to me and said, “My only worry is that we haven’t got enough points on the board”. The rest, as they say, is history; described in far better form than I can do by the BBC
Suffice to say it was a painful drive home.
Picture courtesy of Hull Daily Mail

Wednesday 23rd July
Pre-Season Friendly
Easington United 1 Hessle Sporting Club 2

On the face of it this is a poor result against a side that finished adrift at the bottom of Humber Premier League Division 1 the previous season. But then you consider the following factors:
1)      Hessle have undergone a major transformation since the end of last term and looked on this evidence to have recruited well
2)      We’d intended this game to be a “mixed bag” of prospective first and second teamers therefore the team was more an Eastenders AnXI than a full bifta
3)      By now we’d been beset by rumours of players either jumping ship or simply not bothering this season, leading to a pessimistic mood in the camp
Still, when Wilks lashed home from 25 yards on the stroke of half-time to give us the lead, all appeared hunky-dory. Sadly Hessle fought back to sneak matters late on.  

Saturday 25th July
Pre-Season Friendly
Easington United Reserves 1 Grange FC Cobras 5

On first evidence it would appear that John Clarke is going to have the same problem at Reserves level that Andy has with the First Team squad. This was a thrown-together Stiffs side, depleted by various absences, and in the event no match for a decent Hull Sunday League outfit - and that despite having the fillip of a Tom Emerson opener just before half-time.
However, the main story of the game was the "High On Life" character brought to the game by Gavin, ostensibly as a centre-forward but who first half proceeded to fill the vacant goalkeeper's position! His performance over the 90 minutes had to be seen - or rather heard - to be believed!



Thursday, 3 July 2014

Brief Encounter

England’s latest World Cup stay was shorter than a holiday romance

Averaging three goals a game over the first week of the tournament, the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil has already established itself as the best such competition in years.  With a refreshing absence of the cagey affairs one normally associates with the group stages, teams literally threw themselves forward – witness the second half of Germany v Ghana. It's a trait that has hitherto continued into the knockout stages - witness Belgium v USA!
And it has to be said that even England joined the party, albeit briefly.  The opening game against Italy had me more excited than at any World Cup since France ’98.  Rarely, if ever, have I watched an England team so committed to attack and carrying as much pace going forward.  Unfortunately, mistakes and lapses at the other end – so often in the past the bedrock of England’s usual progress to a quarter-final exit – meant the game was lost.
Six days later a 2-1 loss to Uruguay and Italy’s defeat by Costa Rica confirmed England’s exit at the group stages of a World Cup Finals for the first time since 1958.  The following Tuesday Roy Hodgson's team were on their way home.  They had taken just the one point from three matches; ironically that coming from a 0-0 draw against group winners Costa Rica who had already accounted for most people's favourites, Uruguay and Italy.
While I watched the Costa Rica "dead rubber" in frustration from the comfort of my armchair (I didn't see the point in again wasting money at the pub), several thousand England fans had made the costly trip to South America, many arriving after their team's elimination had already been confirmed.  As such their loyalty is to be commended, especially the 7,000 or so in Belo Horizonte who stood for ages after the final whistle of the final game hailing their, erm, heroes...
"The scenes afterwards in Belo were also superb. A poor team being supported until the end. Congas, new songs, and upbeat support. Fantastic. Homages to Lampard, Gerrard, Rooney, Hodgson and the rest of the side that 'the man in the pub' would never understand. Support unquestioned. Thats not to say England fans are happy with performances. Not good enough. One day we will be back though. Support still stays until then." Dean Cornish (England fan) via Twitter
Of course, despite the pre-tournament lack of expectation from what had been agreed beforehand by public and punters was a squad selected with the future in mind, the knives were being sharpened as soon as Suarez struck home his decisive second in Sao Paolo.  
Soon we had the usual outpourings of hurt, frustration and anger on the various platforms available.  Twitter went into overdrive as did the various radio phone-ins.  BBC 5 Live, a station that does these tournaments so well, suddenly became a no-go area for those of a nervous – or in my case pro-Hodgson – disposition.
This for me was the most disappointing aspect.  Aside from the usual suspects and those with an anti-Hodgson agenda (step forward the majority of football writers at The Daily Mail) most observers had seen much to take comfort in from England’s first game and accepted that overall progress was being made in the right direction.  Yet all of a sudden pundits and public alike reverted to the usual hunt for scapegoats.  And most looked no further than the manager.  Or Rooney.
This annoyed me.  For whereas the exits at Germany 2006 or in South Africa four years ago had me totally fed up with the state of the game in this country, this one left me far more philosophical - as well as far less inclined to direct the sort of fire at Hodgson that Capello's stewardship had more than deserved.
The problems with England go - and have gone for years - much higher than the manager. And while I often find him opportunistic, I have to agree with Chris Waddle (often the BBC's critic-in-chief on these occasions) when he rants about the Premier League and the lack of quality grassroots coaching, not to mention his fears that none of the exciting crop of youngsters will kick on for Euro 2016.  Indeed, Paul Hayward probably hit the nail on the head most accurately in a fine piece for the Daily Telegraph, which looked beyond the manager when apportioning most of the blame. 
Thankfully, he wasn't alone in this.  Henry Winter is consistently on the ball in his appraisal of the national team and remained so this time, first by acknowledging that Hodgson remains the only man capable of trying to tackle the "impossible job" then offering up further advice on the way forward.  And, praise the Lord, even the Daily Mail has at least one man standing up for the beleaguered boss!
In short, I think Michael Owen summed things up as well as anyone in this quote from a piece for the Daily Telegraph:
“You can analyse his tactics as much as you like, but ultimately both games were lost due to a combination of wasteful finishing at one end and a more clinical approach at the other, aided by our defensive mistakes. Unlike in South Africa, we did not bore the rest of the world, and there was no great systematic failure like we witnessed against Germany in Bloemfontein.
“England have not been completely overrun or outplayed for prolonged periods. Quite the contrary, both matches ebbed and flowed. We just do not have enough world class players to make a difference in the way Luis Su├írez did for Uruguay.”
In Roy we (still) trust. Roll on the Euros!

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

A full house

A 'Top 20' makes the CML North just like the Premier League!

The constitution for next season’s Central Midlands League North Division has given us a full complement of 20 teams, meaning some 38 league games to be played between 9th August and 16th May.  Wow!
The full house comes courtesy of four new teams coming in, while champions AFC Mansfield follow in the footsteps of Dronfield Town in having gained promotion to the Northern Counties East League.
Of the four newcomers, Appleby Frodingham's relegation from the NCEL offers us a short hop across the Humber Bridge to the Brumby Hall Sports Ground.
Another name familiar with the NCEL is Dinnington Town.  Unlike Appleby Frodingham, however, the South Yorkshire side were not relegated but instead resigned due to ongoing problems with vandalism at their Phoenix Park home.
As reported in the Worksop Guardian it was a sad end to Town’s life at Step 6 but, hopefully, the new club's return to where their forerunners began life in 2000 might signify another upturn in fortunes.
Of the other two new teams, FC Bolsover would appear to have some connection with Sunday League side FC Brimington who many supporters may remember from the old CML Premier Division days. 
As for Bilsthorpe, they’re a Charter Standard club with several junior teams in tow who happen to play at Eakring Road, once home to FC 05 and one of the finest playing surfaces in the competition.
So, overall, it’s good news for the competition.  However, given our lack of floodlights and Low Farm’s susceptibility to standing water, anything like a severe winter will no doubt prompt a sharp intake of breath from our Committee!
My only hope is that new fixture secretary Tony Baugh will set out from the start to allocate us midweek away games at those clubs fairly local to us who possess lights.
Last season, only the away trip to “neighbours” Westella Hanson was allocated a 7.45pm kick-off.  Visits to fellow Yorkshire clubs Brodsworth, Kinsley Boys and Askern, along with nearby Harworth Colliery, were all allocated Saturday dates, leading to something of a fixture pile-up in April and May.
Don’t get me wrong, we were partly to blame due to starting the season late following the countless problems we experienced last summer.  And for simply allowing us to do this we will forever be grateful to the CMFL committee.
That said we did immediately offer to “go anywhere under lights” with the obvious caveat that we’d prefer to avoid the months of January and February when the weather could not only threaten games at short notice but when travelling such distances can become slightly more hazardous.  For whatever reason, these fixtures never happened. I've got a feeling they will this time round!
So, here we go again.  Our fifth season in the Central Midlands League and easily set to be our longest.  Here’s hoping it’s a memorable one.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

June 2014

Saturday 7th June
Deano delights at the Do

After troubled campaign on the field of play, at least we ended it on a real high off it, thanks in no small part to Hull City legend Dean Windass and that well-known Master of Ceremonies Mally Lord who between them provided an excellent night's entertainment at The Northfield Country Club.
A full list of the night's award winners can be found here. Unfortunately, no photos are to be had thanks to Shotgun Burt's decision to video the who evening's entertainment and not just the speeches ;-)  
In one of the few pictures Burt did manage to take (above) the star of the show is seen presenting an autographed 2008 Hull City Wembley Play-off Final shirt to winning bidder Craig Stephenson aka Jack Duckworth!

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

May 2014 (Second Half)

A Final Disappointment!
Friday 23rd May
South Holderness Cup Final
Easington United 0 Hedon Rangers 2
And so a season of "marvellous mediocrity" ended in suitably underwhelming fashion - courtesy of defeat in the final of the South Holderness Cup.  And a deserved one at that.
Having progressed to the final thanks to a ridiculous forfeit on the part of scheduled semi-final opponents Skirlaugh, we at least got the "showpiece" clash the competition needed after a "gap year" in 2013 and if it had any hope of matching the excitement of the last such occasion two years earlier.
As it was a decent crowd in excess of 120 saw Hedon clinch their fourth win in the competition thanks to a goal in each half.
From an Easington point of view it was disappointing to see us fail to reach anything like the standard at which we know we can perform.  On the other hand, credit has to go to our opponents, not only for the way they set-up, which thwarted much of our go-forward, but also for their better distribution when in possession and for their excellent defensive effort.
That said we still contrived to create and miss a handful of decent chances, striking the woodwork on three occasions.  And as Hedon duly acknowledged afterwards, had one of these efforts gone in we may well have gone on to win the game.  But that's football.
Looking at things from the competition point of view, it was simply great to have the Cup staged again and hopefully we can build on this next season.
The official match report can be read here.
Extra pictures of the game can also be viewed on Colin Brammer's website and on our Facebook pages here and here.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

One Day In May

Saturday 17th May
FA Cup Final
Arsenal 3 Hull City 2 


The sight of more than 25,000 Hull fans, turning huge swathes of Wembley into a rippling blanket of amber and black, sent out a powerful message to any potential signings tuning in.  The pictures of Bruce urging his players on, of Hull rattling Arsenal for so long, created an enticing advertisement for the club.  “I hope so,” said Bruce.  “That’s always the challenge.  We landed two or three really big ones last summer, Huddlestone and Jake Livermore, and we’ve got to try and secure Jake, if we can.  We’re spending a lot on the academy and its job is to produce some young players.  But that’s for the future.  I’ll probably get the sack when it’s all in place!”  Henry Winter (The Daily Telegraph)

What a day!
Setting the alarm for 5.45am but actually waking up just after 5 o’clock...
Helping Mrs Slush get an excitable younger daughter ready for her own big day – the Brownies 100th Birthday Bash at Wetherby Racecourse - while trying to keep a tab on ‘Social Media’ goings on...
7.29am - the final of fifteen pocket checks – phone, money, tickets...
At 7.30am we’re off – the best trip we’ve ever been on – picking up at Patrington and Hedon – passing 'early start' Rovers fans with flags also out en route to ‘Magic Weekend’ – through Hull and out on to the M62 among countless other vehicles turning the carriageway into “a sea of black and amber”...
9am-ish - First mishap! Too busy talking and reminiscing about midweek trips to Carlisle means we miss the A1 turn-off...
Turn off the M1 near Worksop and soon back on track...
10.15am: second mishap! Miss Grantham Services due it not being sign-posted on the approach to the Grantham turn-off (honest!); arrange to pull-up at the “next available lay-by” and meet up with the Campbell Clan
10.20am - stood supping San Miguel in a lay-by, while acknowledging the honks and cheers of the passing Tiger Nation...
12.15pm – parked up at Rickmansworth
12.20pm – encamped in The Pennsylvanian (Wetherspoons); few pints of Ruddles County £1.99; pub well populated with City...and the odd Arse...
1.30pm – the Campbells depart for the station; we decamp to The Feathers beer garden; decent pint of Castle Rock Pale Ale; sun, smiles and best wishes from the locals, none of whom it seems want Arsene to end his recent trophy drought!
2.30pm – On the ‘over-ground’ from Rickmansworh to Wembley Park, joining in with the singing of a dozen or so east Hull lads in the next carriage; ‘We’re All Going On A European Tour’, ‘Silverware We Don’t Care’ interspersed with ‘When the Red, Red Robin...’
3.10pm – Wembley Park: what a sight!
3.20pm – after an aborted attempt to get in The Premier Inn, decide to sample the sights and sounds of Wembley (sorry, Olympic) Way – great to see City fans have tagged it; wander past Hull CC’s impressive ‘City of Culture’ display..
3.35pm – amazing how many “old school” faces you can bump into on a ten-minute stroll; accosted by a worse-for-wear City fan who tells one of our party: “The only way to win today is to hit the Southern b@stards early, get into ‘em, they won’t like it...” – er, 'Stereotype Alert’ and ironically, the bloke in question had a southern accent ;-)
3.45pm – On Wembley concourse supping a pint of p!ss in a plastic glass, the privilege for which I paid a fiver; ah well, I’d been spoilt up to now...
4.15pm – Take our seats in Block 120. What. A. Sight.
4.30pm – Steve Jordan whips up a storm, helped by plastic rattles, free flags and Elvis’ “Wise Men Say” booming from the speakers...
4.45pm – Leon Lewis leads “Abide With Me”.  I’m a blubbering wreck.  I knew I would be. Love you Mum!
4.50pm – Here they come; F#ck me, Hull City’s players are coming out on the pitch in an FA Cup Final; the hairs literally ARE standing up on the back of my neck; “God Save The Queen”
5pm – We’re off...
5.03pm – Chester. Ecstasy...
5.09pm – Davies. Oh. My. God!
5.16pm – Cazorla. Reality check.
5.48pm – Job half done

Hull’s players, especially Curtis Davies, were magnificent, until tiring.  Bruce demonstrated he is a significant managerial force.  Arsenal were in a battle.  Henry Winter (The Daily Telegraph)

6.17pm - Respect to the Valley Parade 56
6.30pm – Koscielny. B@stard! 
6.54pm – ninety up. Can we really can take anymore of this?...
7.21pm – Ramsey. Didn’t we just know it?
7.30pm – A-l-u-u-u-k-o...aaaargh
7.33pm – Dream over...

For the next few minutes I stood numb.  I wasn’t going to cry, even as Jake Livermore approached the City end looking totally and utterly lost.  Then that overwhelming sense of pride, as the rest of the players came over and moments later as they trudged wearily up the steps to receive their runner-up medals.  Losers?  Never.  Then the Arsenal players went up to receive the main prize.  I applauded.  Not sure they’d have done the same had the positions been reversed.  Let’s get out of here...

7.55pm – back along Wembley Way; songs of defiance fill the air...
8.05pm – Still waiting for our train inside Wembley Park...
8.50pm – back at Rickmansworth...
9.05pm – On the way home...
11-midnight-ish - Ferking roadworks (M1)
1.55am – Journey’s End

The following day I posted something of a rant on a popular Social Media site trying to express the sheer PRIDE I’d felt the day before.  Looking at it now, it still holds true and as such I’ve repeated it here... 
The morning after the evening before and having watched much of the day/game back on the box, my overriding feeling remains one of immense pride at my local team - something that those of you born and bred in these parts who purport to follow the so-called "big" clubs will never truly appreciate. From the "comfort" lay-by stops on the A1 with honks and cheers from fellow City fans to the best wishes of the locals in Rickmansworth and the camaraderie of meeting friends old and new from Hull and East Yorkshire to the full Wembley experience - crying through Abide With Me (as I knew I would), THAT start (!), the Arsenal fightback which has to be admired, the sheer bloody-mindedness of City to the end and the reception at the close for our heroes (which included staying to see Arsenal lift the cup - would they have done the same? Hmm). You can preach all you like about lifelong "support" for your Liverpools, Man Utds, Arsenals - you simply cannot relate to a club in the same way that you connect with that which is LOCAL to you. One decent piece of ITV's coverage yesterday was that with Mark Herman, Garreth Roberts etc showing where Hull City (not Tigers) have come from and what they've been through - you would-be Scousers, Mancs, Gooners from Holderness can never appreciate the experience I felt yesterday of watching MY team representing MY part of the country when taking part in what is still one of the finest showpiece occasions in World Sport. You go on about "plastic" Hull City fans - I don't care whether they've supported City for 5 mins, 5 years or 5 decades - those there yesterday were there to back their local team. And we came so close to really putting the place on the global footballing map. Now to Europe and beyond. Rant over. "Hull, Hell & Happiness".
As expected much of the national media coverage last Saturday focused on Arsene and his nine-year wait for a trophy.  This was evident in the match reports of esteemed writers such as Patrick Collins of the Daily Mail (“yellow and black” FFS!). 
But there were some who were willing to give City more than a passing nod.  Henry Winter in the Daily Telegraph and JacobSteinberg in The Guardian.
Locally the Hull Daily Mail’s coverage was extensive as was to be expected.  Their man Phil Buckingham captured the mood perfectly with his blog post for ESPN
Then there were also excellent accounts from Matthew Rudd in City Fanzine Amber Nectar and Rick Skelton for The Metro.
But perhaps the piece that resonated most with those of black and amber persuasion was this from Cole Moreton in The Daily Telegraph.  Simply brilliant.

In conclusion I must concede that to some reading this my actual attendance at the FA Cup Final will sit uneasily.  My days of regular City attendance were curtailed in the early 1990s when I opted to return to the grassroots game.  That said, I’ve still got to Boothferry Park, the KC and the odd away trip when I can and have never lost my desire to see my local team arrive on the big stage.  Being there on Saturday made all those days spent watching poor City sides being systematically taken apart in front of the eyes of me and a few other hardy like-minded souls all the sweeter.  

Next stop the Europa League...

Some of the pictures courtesy of The Daily Mail's "LIVE" report.
Jake Livermore picture courtesy of The Guardian.
Steve Jordan pre-match photo courtesy of BBC Radio Humberside's James Hoggarth via Twitter

Thursday, 22 May 2014

May 2014 (First Half)

And so another season ends...well almost.
With Hull City's appearance in their first ever FA Cup Final obviously meriting its own post, this first half of the final month of the season covers everything up to Saturday, 17th May - a date forever etched in the memory of some of us.
Unfortunately, it also turns into a fairly depressing list results-wise but scorelines don’t always tell the full story...

Sunday 4th May
Super League
Hull KR 29 Widnes Vikings 34

The Younger Slushette maintained her one hundred per cent failure record at Rovers matches as the Robins somehow contrived to throw away a 7pt lead inside the final 10mins against the Vikings.
It was a pretty depressing end to an afternoon that had begun so well - despite being overshadowed (almost literally) by a huge pall of black smoke that was emanating from a fire at a recycling plant near Saltend.
The fallout from the blaze prompted the closure of Hedon Road, meaning a detour via Bilton on the way home. Still, at least this allowed me the pleasure of listening to dozens of Dullers calling up Humberside after Hull's even more spectacular implosion at home to Agar's Wakey.
As for the game itself, here's a report. 

Tuesday 6th May
South Holderness Cup Semi-Final
Easington United Reserves 0 Hedon Rangers 10

Hmm, for half an hour this threatened to be a tight-ish affair.  Then Hedon scored.  Still, at least the sun shone and it was a nice night.  Hedon through to the Final.  Further pics can be found accompanying the report of sorts, which is here.

Thursday 8th May
CML North Division
Easington United 4 Westella Hanson 5

One of the best games this season at Low Farm and far from a meaningless end-of-season affair. Unfortunately, it ended in another defeat but once again manager AG was left feeling encouraged by the way his squad is shaping up...for 2014/15!
A full report with pictures can be found here.  The Facebook pics can be found here.

Saturday 10th May
CML North Division
Easington United 3 Thorne Colliery 7

Four seasons in one day at Low Farm - but only one outcome as AG's squad shortages were exposed by a ruthless Thorne side that has enjoyed its highest league finish in years (3rd) and a run to the final of the League Cup wherein they were edged out by the all-conquering Bulls of AFC Mansfield.  The player/manager's dismissal was our fourth in the last five games!  Report here, pictures here and here.

Tuesday 13th May
South Holderness Cup Round 1
Hedon Rangers Reserves 3 Easington United 9

Following the Reserves' defeat in the semi-finals, it suddenly became imperative that the First Team avoided any slip-ups against Hedon's second string.  Thankfully they never looked in danger of doing so.  Four up by the time I got there, they went on to seal a place in the semi-final with some ease.  Therein they were set to be at home to Skirlaugh in three days time...
A report of the evening's main cut and thrust can be found here.  Pictures are here and here.

Friday 16th May
South Holderness Cup Semi-Final
Easington United w/o Skirlaugh

Ah, a gorgeous spring evening on the Humber Riviera, the Low Farm pitch glistening in the sunlight and a setting that simply demands a game of football.  But sadly, none will take place.  Skirlaugh cannot make tonight's date due to "FA Cup and Magic Weekend" commitments.  They also turn down the alternative offer of Monday.  There is nothing else for it but for the Cup Committee to "disqualify" them under Rule 4(c).  The Eastenders will meet Hedon Rangers in next Friday's final...

April 2014

What a mixed bag!  April 2014 saw Hull City playing only their second ever FA Cup semi-final, winning an eight-goal thriller to reach their first ever FA Cup Final.  The day before we’d finally ended our own eight-match losing run by winning at fifth-placedNewark Town in a real “old school” Easington performance.  And the night before that (Friday – do keep up) Rovers had bounced back from their Challenge Cup exit to win atWarrington...which they rarely do.  It was a fantastic sporting weekend – and I missed all of it thanks to a pre-planned weekend in London and at Harry Potter World for the Elder Slushette’s 11th birthday treat. 
Whilst I could at least listen to the Robins’ win on the radio, news of the 1-0 win at Newark was learnt via mobile updates while being dragged round Hamleys Toys and the M & M Store!  As for City’s rollercoaster ride against the Blades, well that was followed by Twitter on the coach, with a fast fading battery...agonising is not the word.  Still, it provides me with yet another item for my father-of-the-bride wedding day speech...
The rest of the month brough an aforementioned cup exit for Rovers, a magnificent first Hull derby of the season and some decent local football...

Saturday 5th April
CML North Division
Easington United 2 Harworth Colliery 3

This was most certainly one that got away, but simply by virtue of this fact it probably helps explain why we are where we are in the table.
The match report can be read here.
Facebook pics can be found here (Burt) and here (Craig).

Sunday 6th April
Rugby League Challenge Cup Round 1
Hull KR 24 Warrington Wolves 28

Hopes of a decent cup run – and chance to really gloat over the Dullers’ exit the preceding Thursday – were dashed by Warrington’s second half comeback at The KC Lightstream.
It was the Younger Slushette’s first visit to the ground (her previous taste of Rovers having come courtesy of a derby defeat at the KC) and my first taste of the new North Stand.
In truth that was the most impressive part of the day, the superb new structure being home to some excellent pre-match entertainment from Half Deaf Clatch (even if I’d have preferred that on offer for the Wakefield and Bradford games – The Happy Endings, complete with the sumptuous vocal talents of Emma Fee).  Free face painting for the kids, plenty of photo opportunities with Rufus The Robin and the improved catering areas added to a real feel-good factor about the place.  Rovers can certainly be proud of it.
Just a shame about result, which according to many comments I heard on the way out, signalled the end of the Robins’ season...in April!
At least the Elder Slushette's birthday tea in the Crown at Kilnsea (complete with Timothy Taylor Landlord) helped offset any immediate post-match disappointment :-)
The official BBC report is here.
Action shot courtesy of The Warrington Guardian.

Wednesday 16th April
CML North Division
Bentley Colliery 1 Easington United 2

A weekend excursion to London and Harry Potter World to mark the Elder Slushette’s 11th birthday had not only scuppered my hopes of seeing Hull City reach the FA Cup Final for the first time ever but also meant I missed a first ever trip to Newark Town’s Station Road ground and, more importantly, a rare Easington away win!
As such I was determined not to pass up the opportunity of catching the lads next time out, which involved tying in the weekly visit to our Hessle office with a dash down the M18 to The Avenue.
Throw in the prospect of the League’s best meat pies, one of the funniest PA announcers in the country and a meet-up with a former Hull City skipper afterwards and it was too good to miss...and that’s before you throw in a second successive away win!
In the event the pie more than lived up to expectation.  Pete on the mic also kept me entertained: “Welcome to Bentley Colliery versus Easington You-narted. Easington’s colours are bot...bottle and go...er, green and yella!”  As for the former Tiger, that came in the form of Stuart Croft, scorer of City’s winner at the very first “away” match I saw back in 1980.  More of this can be found in my other blog in due course.
All in all it was one of the best trips this season – and that’s despite having The Pistol and the PPE nowhere to be seen!
My match report can be read here.
Photos of the game can also be found on our Facebook page
My other blog is A Hull Of A Time.

Thursday 17th April
Super League
Hull KR 21 Hull FC 20

Although disappointed when first learning that the switch of the Easter derby from the traditional Good Friday date to the preceding night, in the event the move proved a good one as the teams served up a thriller in front of an atmosphere that – if my own behaviour is anything to go by – was helped enormously by the quaffing of much tea-time ale!
A late afternoon trip down Hull’s real ale quarter - taking in decent ales at Lion & Key, The Manchester Arms and Hawkes Bar (complete with dimpled glass (it doesn't take much!) - was followed by the introduction of three “Smoggies” (one works colleague from ‘the Boro and two of his mates) to the world of “Hulking Stan Rovers” and the game “rrrrrrrrrragby leeeague”. 
I think they enjoyed it.  I know I did.
For a match report read here.

Saturday 19th April
CML North Division
Easington United 2 Clay Cross Town 1
And the run goes on!  The first of the Easter Double-Egger saw opening day opponents Clay Cross travel north and return empty-handed following another solid showing.
It was one of those performances reminiscent of the first season in the CML – passages of excellent football, flashes of individual brilliance and plenty of good old fashioned backs-to-the-wall defending.  Hopefully, it bodes well for next season...
My match report can be read here.
The Clay Cross report can be found here
Facebook pictures can be found here (Burt) and here (Craig).

Saturday 26th April
CML North Division
Ollerton Town 3 Easington United 2

Ollerton is one of those places that for some reason I always know for certain before going that we’re not going to come away with anything.  And this time was no different, mainly because of the early dismissal of Anthony Barnett for denying a goal-scoring opportunity...even though the ball ended up in the net anyway!
That said we put up a really good scrap and to hear the “elder statesmen” of the home support turn on their side after Jamie’s first goal was not only very, very funny but also testament to the effort the lads put in.
A decent pint of Mansfield Cask Ale afterwards was a bonus...lack of any food was not ;-)
Our report can be found here.
The Ollerton report can be read here.
Facebook page pics can be found here.

Tuesday 30th April
South Holderness Cup Round 1
Easington United Reserves 7 Bilton Athletic 1


Ah, the South Holderness Cup – that traditional end-of-season competition in which games are played in front of big crowds on gorgeous spring evenings.  Hmm, this one took place in conditions normally akin to those experienced in November and was watched by just enough people to form two touchline five-a-side teams.
Still, at least those present managed to catch the Reserves’ first win in 28 games; and that after falling behind inside five minutes!
A brief report can be read here, while Facebook page pics can be viewed here.