Day: May 1, 2011

Match Of The Week 2: Birmingham City 1-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers

Perhaps the idea of “High Noon” was that of a television executive. If it was, the Premier League supporters could probably be forgiven for throwing a few curses his way for scheduling two matches for midday on a Sunday lunchtime in the middle of a Bank Holiday weekend. The supporters of Birmingham City and Wolverhampton Wanderers haven’t come off as badly from this as those of Newcastle United, who would have needed to leave for Anfield at a time that could be credibly described as “late last night”, but still… midday? These West Midlands derby matches have a reputation for occasionally getting a little rambunctious, but would giving the overwhelming of majority of Birmingham and Wolves supporters that don’t much fancy the idea of thumping anyone an hour to go to the pub be such a crime? Even a kick-off this early is unlikely to mean that nerves won’t be jangling at St Andrews this morning. Birmingham City will be playing in Europe next season thanks to their League Cup win, but they are still in danger of being relegated at the end of this season. They are currently on thirty-eight points with the “normal” threshold of forty looking as if even that might not be enough to keep anybody safe this season. A win today, against a Wolves team whose defence has been rather porous over the last...

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It Couldn’t Have Been Closer: How Chester’s Season Went To The Wire

The end of the domestic football season can perhaps be best summarised as a full sensory overload. It’s an intoxicating mixture of the stifling warmth of the spring, mixed with stomach-wrenching nervousness and the occasional feeling, or realisation, that something, or rather something else, is happening elsewhere. It’s a time of year when we are suddenly required to have a graduate level of mental arithmetic, nerves of titanium and, if all goes well, the drinking capacity of a dromedary. This season, though, it seems unlikely that any league will end up quite as tight as Division One North of the Evostik Northern Premier League did by Friday lunchtime. While London – as well as many other places – was being bedecked in Union Jacks in preparation for the royal shindig, certain pockets of the north of England were preparing for something very different altogether. On paper, the race for the title was already more or less complete. Chester FC had seen their double-digit lead whittled away to just three points by Skelmersdale United and, while Chester supporters may have grabbed for the comfort blanket of a goal difference superior to Skelmersdale’s to the tune of eight, even this was complicated by the vagaries of non-league football. While Chester travelled to Garforth Town needing a point to secure the title, Skelmersdale were at home against second from bottom – and...

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