Day: August 28, 2011

My Favourite Match: France vs Portugal, The 1984 European Championships

Football matches come, of course, in all shapes and sizes – the critically important and the relatively inconsequential, local derbies steeped in decades of mutual loathing and round-trips which measure thousands of miles and have never been undertaken before. Occasionally, though, context isn’t quite everything. Every once in a while, a match can suck an audience in entirely on its own merits and spit you out the other side with a grin the size of the Wembley arch. The presumed importance of the match in a broader sense becomes overwhelmed by the immediacy of the passion play of the moment, and these matches can stand tall, as exhibits of the intoxicating majesty and drama that football can offer those who watch it. The European Championships of 1984 were presumed not to matter very much to a British television audience by broadcasters in the United Kingdom. None of the home nations had qualified for it and the commercial network ITV even decided to abandon all coverage of the tournament, while even the BBC restricted most of theirs to highlights shows in the evening. The previous tournament, held in Italy four years previously, had been a dismal affair, distinguished only by the efforts of English hooligans to create an even worse atmosphere than the football on offer could of its own accord. The result of this insularity was that a British...

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Non-League Videos of the Week: 28/08/11

With the leagues in full swing there have been goals galore this week, up near the top of the pyramid Fleetwood were beat by Barrow in the week, finally conceding their first goals of the season. They didn’t quite last as long as Gloucester City, who managed a further ten minutes before Eastwood Town’s Jason Bradley becomes the first player to score against them this season.   That said, AFC Totton lasted longer than both – they didn’t concede a goal until yesterday afternoon when they lost 2-1 to Leamington. Elsewhere in the Isthmian Division One South Folkestone Invicta fought back from a goal down to beat Whyteleafe, with Stewart King netting both goals. The winner was scored from the spot – with one fan in the crowd getting that all important ‘keeper’s eye’ view.   In Evo-stick Division One Central Slough Town move up to fourth after comprehensive victory over Fleet. It was all about the late goals,with Danny Burnell putting Slough ahead in the first half and efforts from Adam Logie and Sean Sonner confirming the win.   And finally a derby and a half from the Evo-stick Southern Premier League; Swindon Supermarine v Cirencester Town.   The score finished 4-4, with brothers Max and Tom Etheridge scoring a goal each for the opposing sides, add into that three red cards and numerous bookings and the repeat...

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