Saturday, 22 September 2007

Wembley Through The Valley To Dog Kennel Hill

As The Addicks Championship Diary chronicles the events of Leamingtons finest Football club, I've been doing a tour of top to bottom and in the space of 11 days have gone from the glories of International Competitive Football to Rymans League Division One South, via Footbal League Coca Cola championship. So much is written about our modern professional teams that there is little to add, Wembley was outstanding, although I am not sure worth all of that money, Heskey was brilliant and Owen sublime, The Valley stands out amongst Championship Club stadiums and there is an argument for playing our games at Welling to avoid lesser clubs raising their game, in an environment they will never experience in their professional lifetime. The Addicks themselves shining through Reid and Zheng and then you come to Champion Hill, the home of the Hamlets.

Dulwich Hamlets are to Palace as Welling are to Charlton. Many successful years, not many in the recent past though, average crowds of 300 and like Palace, not a stones throw away from Sainsbury. Playing on a Friday night to encourage supporters who follow their illustrious neighbours and passing trade (presumably late night shoppers), they were playing Kingstonian under floodlights. When I say floodlights, I assume thats what they were. Being used to premier league lighting , it felt that the players could have done with the miners hats with the old lights on to see their way around the ground .

This was only my 2nd non league match in 50 years, so a novelty. Siting behind the Hamlet dug out it was great watching the Manager ranting, David Brent esque at no one in particular, while the manager of Kingstonian, a former Spanner and a scot to boot, ranted in a Scottish dialect reminiscent of Russ Abbot, with the occasional F word being the only thing identifiable.

Kingstonian won 1-0, a goal out of the top draw of womens world cup keepers as the Hamlet keeper Sheikh Ceesay. called the ball, it looped over his head and dropped to the on coming forward to slot in.

Both Pards and Dickson were discovered here and the nights program had a cartoon with a picture of his head on it scoring a goal against Wimbledon. It appears that they have printed up a job lot of coves and change the inside each match, stickering the cover with the game.

If you are looking for skill don't go to lower league games, but if you want to see a good old fashioned rough and tumble,be able to park within 10 metres of the entrance and do your shopping prior to kick off, get yourself down to Champion Hill.

Friday, 21 September 2007

Leicester city pre match stats

As we go into the Leicester game Actim Index have released their latest stats on the Championship teams. Despite our lofty position of 3rd in the table, no Addick gets into the top 30 Championship players listing. Although, there is no surprise that our leading player is none other than Andy Reid at 32, whereas we need to scroll down find our second player at 77 Nicky Weaver and then at 97 is Zheng Zhi who is recorded as a defender.

Leicester, however, fair worse their first place is at 61 with Kisnorbo, followed by McAuley at 87 (Both defenders) and Toronto Addicks favourite Iain Hulme at 119.

Two ex Addick keepers are in the top 5 keepers list Deano, as one would expect, and Paul Rachubka, who we sold to Huddersfield and now plays for Blackpool, another keeper who was bought for real money by Curbs and then given a free.

Our midfield continue to lead the way for shots, with Ambrose despite the arrival of his new child, leading the way with 24 shots and Reidy having 23. of course accuracy is what counts hence reid has 7 goals this season, already, against Ambroses 1.

There are not many things that Actim make us top at, but shots off target is the one with 46, whilst West Brom have topped on target with 49.

At 22, 242 our average home attendance is the sixth highest in the division.

It looks tomorrow like we are set for a boring first half as between them the teams have managed to muster up only 2 Championship goals in the first 45, but nobody should leave the ground at half time as a further 15 goals have gone into the onion bag in the second.

Its two games since Leicester have had an away win and four since an away defeat, so it looks good for a draw, especially with the new manager Gary Megson behind them. The last Leicester League game was at the Valley, a 2-2 draw, although I recall villain of the piece Dublin, scoring a header in an FA Cup game at the Valley, in the last minute to put us out in January - again. Tomorrows referee is S. Tanner