Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Time For Action Too

A postponement last weekend and the likelihood of another this should enable me to bring this Blog something like back up to date.  But then again...

Saturday 3rd November
CML North
Easington United 0 Dronfield Town 5
There are times in football when you just hold your hands up and acknowledge that the cuffing you've just witnessed your team take was something that was fully deserved...and not because your team played particularly poorly.
Dronfield Town arrived at the Farm as the only team thus far to have beaten big-spending title faves AFC Mansfield.  And according to Sumo, their own billing as potentially Mansfield's closest rivals for the CML North championship is well merited.
From start to finish the visitors were sharper right across the park and had it not been for another faultless display by young Ben in goal, the margin of defeat could have been even wider.
That said, there was no knocking the effort on show from the locals.  They are a keen, young bunch who will improve with time.  One suspects several of these defeats may have to be experienced along the way but although painful, their value could turn out to be huge.
Our report (with pics courtesy of Burt) can be found here.  Colin Brammer's photos can be found here, and Dronfield's very gracious account of the day is here.
FOOTNOTE: Since this was written, Dronfield further underlined their credentials by winning 5-1 at AFC Mansfield on Saturday #justsaying
Saturday 10th November
East Riding CFA Senior Cup R2
Hessle Rangers 2 Easington United 1

If several positives could be taken from the league defeat at home to Dronfield, none could be gleaned from the following week's East Riding Cup exit.
Having negotiated a way through the first round for the first time in four years, the lads had a real chance of gaining themselves a place in the quarter-final draw, to be broadcast live on local radio, where a tie against the likes of Hull City, North Ferriby United or Bridlington Town may have awaited them.
Instead they exited with barely a whimper.  Out-played and more disappointingly, out-fought, the display left Sumo absolutely livid.
Plus points? Not many.  Ben couldn't be blamed for either goal, while Fozzy notching for the First Team a week before his 42nd birthday did at least signify one worthy milestone.
Personally, the only enjoyable bit for me was the chance to catch up with Rangers' former manager Keith Picken, who I hadn't seen for some time.  Oh, and thankfully, there was also a cask ale option in the Blackies Social Club!
The full sorry match report can be found here.
FOOTNOTE: Hessle Rangers have since been drawn away to North Ferriby United in the quarter-finals.
Thursday 15th November
Secret Affair
@ FruitSpace, Hull
I passed up one notable previous opportunity to see Secret Affair in concert close to home.  That was at the Grand Pavilion in Withernsea some thirty-plus years ago.  I wasn't going to miss them a second time!
Thankfully, despite including a certain Sumo among our party, I just about managed to stay sober enough to really enjoy this particular gig (unlike my shambolic state at Geno Washington the previous month).
A couple of real ales in The Minerva whet the appetite for the first visit to the relatively new Fruit on Hull's historic Humber Street.  And on first viewing it's my kind of venue. 
A small, mainly male crowd, many resplendent in their Mod fashions eventually grew towards the 200-250 mark by the time Ian Page and co entered the stage. 
And as the band breezed through a fine set of tunes old and new, our group of four worked our way through the bar's stock of bottled Wadworth 6X.
Faves of the night - in addition to the classic "My World" and "Time For Action" - were the covers of "Going To A Go-Go" and, in particular, "Get Ready".
All in all, a cracking night.  Here's hoping I'm not waiting another thirty years for the next one... 

Saturday 17th November
ERCL Senior Cup R2
Easington United Reserves 4 Holme Rovers 4
(Easington win 3-2 on pens)
It's fair to say that perhaps the two best games I've seen at Low Farm in 2012 both involved the Reserves.
And although not quite reaching the heights of excitement of May's South Holderness Cup win, this one will be another that's remembered long after the event...perhaps.
A week after watching the First Team's almost spineless exit from the East Riding Cup, the Stiffs put on an altogether different display to claim another Premier Division scalp in the County League Senior Cup. 
They did it the hard way, turning round a 1-3 deficit to lead 4-3 until the latter stages wherein they conceded an equaliser from a free-kick which also saw goalkeeper Ben Akam sent off.
The penalty shootout was similarly painful to watch, with both sides seemingly doing their best to lose it!  In the event Stumo's "sudden death" effort sent the locals through to the quarter-finals.
Mention must also be made of the Holme Rovers lads who certainly didn't let their "surprise" cup exit spoil their post-match session in The Granby.  Full power to their elbows.
A report of the day's drama, with photos from Craig and Burt, can be found here

Saturday 24th November
CML North Division
Easington United 1 Glapwell 1

It's almost pointless commenting on anything about this game other than the man at the front of the above picture. 
I'd like to think I'm pretty fair-minded when I come to referees but Mr Kiecz's display on this particular day at Low Farm can best be summed up as - "he had one".  Well at least we all thought so.  And so did those from Glapwell.
But hey, we're all allowed an "off day" and the next time he officiates at Low Farm he shall receive the customoary warm welcome of all of us on the Committee.  I can't vouch for those in the "North West Ryvita Stand" though...
The full gory details of the events that overshadowed a hard-earned point against a useful Glapwell side can be found here.

Tuesday 27th November
Football League Championship
Hull City 0 Crystal Palace 0

Brim Biglin reckons he hadn't been to the KC for "about three years" prior to this trip against one of the current frontrunners in the Championship.  Personally, I didn't think it had been that long.  I always think of our erstwhile groundsman as my main companion to these midweek matches - he traditionally comes away saying, "Well I'm glad I don't have to pay to watch that again Sat'day!"  This time he saids exactly the opposite - and this after a goalless draw.
But surely, nobody at the KC to see the game would disagree with my companion's view that this was a superb City performance lacking only in a touch of quality in the final third.  As one caller to Radio Humberside's post-match phone-in put it: "We murdered 'em nil-nil".
Had Robbie Koren not passed up a first half sitter, the Tigers would surely have gone on to win by two or three, such was their first half dominance.  Even after the break they enjoyed the better chances.
Then, in the dying moments, a piece of brilliance by the much talked about Wilfried Zaha left him one-on-one with City's latest loanee keeper David Stockdale.  Thankfully the Fulham man was equal to the task and a complete travesty was averted. 
The BBC's account of the night City became the first side to prevent the Eagles scoring in a game this season can be found here.  Not bad for a so-called Category C game ;-)

Saturday 1st December
CML North Division
Westella Hanson 5 Easington United 0

Hoping for a repeat of the away win at Glapwell on the opening day (and taking some encouragement from our performance against the same team seven days earlier) I decided to kit the lads out in the maroon number for another away game against a team in black and white stripes.  Call it "psychological", call it "mind games", either way it didn't work.
I've used Burt's picture of the pre-match "Respect" handshake on purpose.  For 34 minutes it was the closest any of our number got to one of their opponents.
We were two down on 5mins, three in fifteen and by just past the half-hour mark I had visions of a need to reach for the record books.  We trailed 5-0 by that point and were in real danger of self-combustion.  If City's game in midweek was Category C, this Ezzie performance on the Bishop Burton 4G was Certificate X!
To the lads' credit, they rallied after the break and gave those of us in the away contingent - which made up a fair percentage of the assembled throng - something to take from an otherwise bitterly disappointing afternoon.
Further consolation was also to be found in a lovely post-match pint of Marstons EPA in the nearby Altisidora...and another win on the road for the Tigers.
Once again we return to the drawing board...

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