Category: Latest

Back To The Eighties: 1980/81, Part Fourteen – Villa & Liverpool Face Off

With the FA Cup Third Round out of the way, the secon weekend of 1981 was time for the league campaign to get back under way, and it’s worth taking a moment to remind ourselves of how tight things were as hostilities in the league resumed. Here’s the top ten in the First Division, as the clubs resumed their fixtures in the new year. Liverpool led the table, but only on goals scored from Aston Villa and with Ipswich Town in third place in the table, a point behind the top two but with two games in hand on the two sides above them. Liverpool and Ipswich, however, were still involved in both European competitions and the FA Cup, whilst Villa’s exit at Portman Road in the Third Round of the competition meant that they could, in the most literal possible sense, “concentrate on the league.” Meanwhile, even at this point in the season and with only two points for a win, even supporters of clubs down to getting towards the middle of the table could, perhaps, convince themselves that a spectacular run could yet see their club propel itself towards the top of the table. It was, then, as good a time as any for Aston Villa to take on Liverpool at Aston Villa at Villa Park in front of the Match Of The Day cameras. We have...

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FIFA Under-17 World Cup: The Group Stages

If Jack Wilshire clocked the squad lists for the FIFA Under-17 World Cup currently taking place in the United Arab Emirates, he might see how the definition of nationality has developed. Austrians called Marko Kvasina and Nikola Zivotic, Canadians called El Mehdi Ibn Brahim and Ali Musse and a Uruguayan called Kevin. There’s no doubting the best name on show, however, the so-far impressive Brazilian’s striker Mosquito, who (let’s get the insect punning out of the way early, shall we?) stung Slovakia for a hat-trick in the Selecao’s 6-1 opening game victory. Brazil have looked the best team, too, although it remains unclear how strong the “opposition” was in their group – only Honduras offered anything resembling resistance. Those inverted commas certainly belonged to the hapless, hopeless hosts and what Eurosport analyst Jim Beglin considered stage-frightened Slovakians. Their only urgency came after Denis Vavro scored the consolation goal and briefly ran to pick the ball out of the net in order to get the game restarted… before remembering that it was 5-1 and that any rush would only give Brazil more time to score a sixth goal… which they did anyway. If Brazil have actually been “just like watching Brazil” for a change, Japan have been almost as impressive. My dad describes any team that strings more than three passes together as “having a bit of the Barcelona about them”...

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Back To The Eighties: 1980/81, Part Thirteen – The FA Cup Third Round

Happy new year, everybody! It’s now the first Saturday of 1981 and that can only mean one thing – the Third Round Proper of the FA Cup. The big match of the weekend saw a single goal from Paul Mariner enough for Ipswich Town to knock Aston Villa out at Portman Road, whilst Everton beat Arsenal by two goals to nil at Goodison Park, Liverpool beat Altrincham of the Alliance Premier League by four goals to one at Anfield and Tottenham Hotspur beat Queens Park Rangers by three goals to one on White Hart Lane. We have four matches for you from the Third Round and its replays, starting at The Vetch Field, where the BBC’s cameras headed in hope of a surprise as First Division Middlesbrough made a visit to play John Toshack’s Swansea City. Next up is an all-First Division match between Manchester United and Brighton & Hove Albion at Old Trafford, and this is followed up by the return of Malcolm Allison to Maine Road – Allison had been sacked by Manchester City in October 1980 – as the manager of Crystal Palace. Allison was out of work again by the start of the following month. And finally, we skip forward to the following week’s replay’s. Enfield, of the Isthmian League, had already knocked Hereford United out in the previous round and had drawn their first...

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Halifax Town: Finally Competitive, Finally Solvent…

Since reforming in 2008 Halifax Town have been making strong progress towards returning to the Football League, but a bid to take the club’s into private ownership may yet come to threaten the club’s future, as Rob White reports. Recent history has treated the Halifax Town AFC very well. Following the heartbreak of The Shaymen’s demise and a shaky maiden season as F.C. Halifax Town, the West Yorkshire side have recorded three promotions in four seasons. Having reformed in the fourth step of non-league football they now find themselves in the Conference Premier, the level at which they folded in May 2008. FC Halifax Town’s inaugural season of national football has delighted their fans, as they have quickly settled into the top half of the table and currently sit in a comfortable eleventh place in the league table. But despite the part-time team’s praiseworthy performances on the pitch, the main focus for most Shaymen has been, once again, their uncertain future. A few days before the Skrill Premier season kicked off, the local press dropped a disconcerting report of a private bid for their council-owned Shay Stadium. The Shay, Halifax Town’s home since their first Football League season in 1921/22, has been shared by co-tenants Halifax RLFC since 1998, when the rugby league side sold their Thrum Hall ground for a supermarket development. The land comprising the Shay itself...

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Back To The Eighties: 1980/81, Part Thirteen – Tight At The Top

Christmas 1980 arrived with two points separating Liverpool, Aston Villa and Ipswich Town at the top of the First Division table, and our three matches from the post-Christmas period comes from the Saturday that came two days after this break. In our first match, Ipswich Town travelled to Highbury to fourth placed Arsenal, who were just two points behind them in the table, whilst in our second match, West Bromwich Albion played Manchester United, with United in fifth place in the table and Albion in eighth place, but both teams were tied on twenty-six points, a further two points behind Arsenal in the table. Finally, out third match comes from the top of the Second Division, with extended highlights of an East London derby match between leaders West Ham United and Orient. You can follow Twohundredpercent on Twitter by clicking...

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