Day: March 25, 2013

That Was The Weekend That Was: Basket Cases Collide

It’s not all about the Premier League, of course. Well, it is, except it isn’t. The top two divisions of English football had a weekend off thanks to the international break, so attention turned to the lower divisions and the scramble to get promoted and to avoid relegation’s sweet, if chilling, kiss. This time of year is the time of year when the luxury of believing that the future will take care of everything starts to run dry, to be replaced with the immediate panic that comes with the realisation that collecting points needs to start, well, now. It was, perhaps this sort of thinking that persuaded more than twelve and a half thousand people from turning out at Fratton Park on Saturday afternoon to see two League One clubs, both former inmates of the Premier League and both arguably still paying for their involvement in that division, do battle in The Battle Of The Basket Cases (2013 edition). We’ve gone into detail – as some have helpfully pointed out of late, quite possibly too much detail – regarding the off the pitch travails of these two clubs quite a lot in recent weeks, and perhaps it was appropriate to concentrate on what was going on when the referee’s whistle blows and all of that financial bother can be put to one side for a couple of hours. Coventry...

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The 2013 FA Trophy Final: Grimsby Town vs Wrexham

Yesterday afternoon in London was one for extra layers. As the Metropolitan Line train rolled out of Baker Street underground station and north towards Wembley Stadium, the slate grey sky darkened, the temperature dropped, occasional flurries of snow lacerated the roof tops and the feeling grew that perhaps we were here on the wrong day of the year. Cup final days aren’t supposed to feel like this – well, not this cold, anyway. Of course, to complain about the weather in London would be churlish in the extreme. The weather in both Lincolnshire and North Wales was considerably worse this weekend, and there had been talk that some – perhaps many – supporters might even find themselves snowed in and unable to make the long trip south for this match. Yet most made it. A day out at Wembley can have a galvanising spirit on the soul of the football supporters. For both the supporters of Grimsby Town and Wrexham, this match is hardly the main event of the 2012/13 season. The promotion places in the Blue Square Bet Premier are far from already sewn up to the point that these two clubs might yet meet back here in the division’s play-off final in a couple of months time. Yet it does matter for both. Grimsby Town managed a Wembley double at the end of the 1997/98 season, winning...

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