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Day: December 14, 2010

Dale Roberts: 1986-2010

The news of a death always comes as something of a shock, but the news of a death of a footballer usually seems to be more shocking than most. We already know that these are young men living lives that us mere supporters would have given almost anything to have had the chance to do and that they are in the peak of their physical condition. No matter how many times one is reported, it always manages to send a chill down the spine, and so it is with the sad, sad news of the passing of the Rushden & Diamonds goalkeeper Dale Roberts, who has died at the age of twenty-four. Dale Roberts was a product of the youth system at Nottingham Forest, and spent time on loan at Eastwood Town and Alfreton Town before arriving at Nene Park on a longer loan deal. He was later recalled by Nottingham Forest at the end of the 2007/08 season as cover, but eventually signed a permanent contract with Rushden & Diamonds in January of 2009. He made just over 100 appearances for the Northamptonshire club and, in addition to this, played in all of the England C team’s matches last season and was voted the England C Player Of The Year. It is no consolation at this time, but in time those who knew him will doubtlessly come to...

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Pulling Together To Save Kidderminster Harriers

A week and a half before Christmas could scarcely be a worse time of the year to be put in this position, but Blue Square Premier club Kidderminster Harriers have taken a double body-blow over the last few days which don’t only threaten to completely derail the club’s encouraging first half of the season on the pitch, but may even place the future of the club in some degree of jeopardy. On the pitch, Kidderminster have had little to be concerned about. They currently sit in fifth place in the table and are unbeaten in the league since the start of October. Away from the pitch, however, what could yet become a perfect storm of a crisis of liquidity and tough new financial reporting rules have come together almost simultaneously. It was last Friday that a message that was put on the website of the Kidderminster Harriers Independent Supporters Trust, following their meeting with the board of directors of the club itself the day before. It spelt out, in stark words, just how perilous their current position is: Yesterday¬†(Thursday 9th December) representatives of KHIST met with board members of Kidderminster Harriers Football Club to discuss recent developments and what the future holds. The Club released a statement on the 1st November stating the financial situation at the club showed anticipated yearly losses of ¬£350,000 and debts of over ¬£250,000....

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Non-League Videos Of The Week

This week’s non-league matches of the week come from a variety different competitions. As the weather started to return to something approaching normal, the a near-full schedule of matches was played, including matches in both the FA Trophy and postponed matches from the FA Vase. Our first match is the FA Trophy match between Wimbledon and Braintree Town. Wimbledon could be forgiven for considering the FA Trophy something of a distraction in comparison with what is looking like becoming a three-way tussle for the Blue Square Premier championship with Crawley Town and Luton Town, but the current Wimbledon club has only played at Wembley once before, to play what was effectively a friendly match there against Corinthian-Casuals in 2008. The FA Trophy, we might compose, would look rather nice in their trophy cabinet, come the end of the season. Their opponents are the Essex side Braintree Town, who are currently top of the Blue Square South and might fancy their chances against a team with other things on their mind. Our second match sees us at Gigg Lane for the Evostik League Premier Division between FC United of Manchester and FC Halifax Town. FC United’s FA Cup run came to an end during the week, and they have found themselves slipping into the relegation zone at the bottom of the league table, although they do still have games in...

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Match Of The Midweek: Manchester United 1-0 Arsenal

There were just over seventeen minutes to play in this critical, top of the table Premier League match when the whistle blew for a penalty kick. Wayne Rooney picked the ball up and placed it on the spot. In front of the Stretford End, this was his moment, after everything, for redemption and the healing process to begin. He strode up, a long run-up, from an angle that looked improbable even from the disorientating camera angle that they use for penalty kicks these days, and… if Wayne Rooney wanted a visual metaphor for his 2010, there it was, right in front of him – a luminous yellow orb, sailing high and harmlessly over Wojciech Szczesny’s goal, into the dark mass of humanity behind it. For all the hype and all the hubris that surrounds the Premier League, it should be said that, on match day at least, it usually delivers. This evening, however, was an off night and if Richard Scudamore happened to be somewhere in the world, trying to sell the league to The Tribe That Hides From Man or some other group of people that have previously not succumbed to the lavish pleasures of The Greatest League In The World tonight, he may have been anxiously reaching for the remote control within the first twenty minutes of this match. This was football played at the pace of...

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