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Day: September 28, 2011

Pants And Publicity For Bath City

How often does an FA Youth Cup game get national coverage? I’m not talking ages old clips of a young Wayne Rooney or David Beckham or John Terry replayed in some ‘before they were famous’ programme while non-entity talking heads try to be witty, I mean actual coverage of the events of a game. Today various tabloids carried reports on Newport County’s Monday night tie with Bath City at Spytty Park, a few of them included pictures, most of the stories covered the key points of a sparky match, won comprehensively by the young Welsh side by five goals to nil. How come? Well, its all down to the referee’s decision to dismiss six members of the Bath squad because of a row over pants. Some of the Bath players had white thermals under their red shorts, thus contravening a little known, but perfectly valid, law of the game. It’s there in the FIFA rules: “if undershorts or tights are worn, they must be of the same main colour as the shorts.” It’s daft but it’s a rule, it isn’t one which is very well known but who knows all the rules inside out? Likewise the reaction of the Bath bench and players was equally daft and led to a series of red cards for dissent. While two of the Bath City Academy boys were changing their underwear on the side of the pitch, Newport...

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Port Vale – Bullet The Blue Sky

After months of turmoil – preceded by years of worry and struggle – Port Vale’s tale could be nearing a happy ending, provided the right protagonists hold their nerve and the decision-makers do something like ‘the right thing.’ When last we were in Burslem, boardroom changes were afoot, with the prospect of two new directors, both popular with supporters campaigning for boardroom personnel changes. A feisty EGM on July 1st had produced some cock-eyed poll results. The ‘old’ board lost a vote of no confidence yet three of them, including humungously-contentious former chairman Bill Bratt, were narrowly re-elected thanks to the vagaries of shareholder ‘democracy.’  However, fans’ favourite candidate, local businessman and long-time Vale sponsor Mark Sims was also elected. But he refused to take his seat until he got a detailed “look” at Vale’s “books” and all the old board – re-elected or not – resigned. Fans’ group North London Valiants (NLV), who had called the EGM, were also invited to nominate a director. And with post-EGM ‘interim’ chairman Mike Lloyd and recently-appointed CEO Perry Deakin making genuine-sounding conciliatory noises, a new era appeared to beckon. Vale being Vale, however, the route has been the dictionary definition of circuitous and mistrust has remained rampant, at least in some quarters.  Neither Sims nor NLV’s nominee, their chairman Malcolm Hirst, became directors. Both chose not to because their similar pre-requisite...

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A Rocky Start For Kettering

There is something awry in Northamptonshire. The start of the new season was supposed to be the start of a new era for Kettering Town. Having moved from Rockingham Road to Nene Park, the former home of the late Rushden & Diamonds, perhaps the least that Kettering supporters might have expected would have been for the aura of soap opera that has hung over the club for the last few years to begin to dissipate, but Tuesday night’s home defeat in the Blue Square Premeier at the hands of Hayes & Yeading United saw the team, which has now shipped five goals at home this season twice already, end its evening in disgrace with two of its players contriving to get themselves sent off for fighting each other. It was a dismal end to a disheartening evening for the club’s supporters. Hayes & Yeading were amongst the pre-season favourites to be relegated this season, and Kettering had perhaps applied something of a sticking plaster to their evening by managing to close the gap to just two goals. In stoppage-time and with the game already more or less lost, Kettering were awarded a penalty which the Hayes goalkeeper Delroy Preddie saved. Kettering scored from the resulting corner, but before the game could be restarted two of Kettering’s players, Jean-Paul Marna and Moses Ashikodi were trading blows with each other in the...

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