Category: Latest

The FA Cup 4Q Round: St Albans City vs Boreham Wood – Live!

Good afternoon, everybody! This is likely to be a long, uninterrupted stream of conciousness on the live blog this afternoon. Let me declare an interest. I went to my first match there in September 1982 and remain an avid watcher of their results. However, I live in Sussex nowadays, and distance – as well as other parts of my life, mean that I wouldn’t label myself as their number one fan. Back in a moment, the teams have just come out onto the...

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Down To The Wire: The Story Of The Football League Play-Offs

The Football League play-offs reach their thirtieth anniversary earlier this year, and it feels as though they have been with us forever. In a way, of course, they have. As we recently detailed, The Football League ran play-offs between 1892 and 1898 to determine all promoted and relegated teams under the name of test matches, before switching to automatic promotion and relegation for the 1898-99 season. It would turn out to be an entire lifetime before they would return, and the circumstances surrounding that return turned out to be fairly prosaic. The banning of English clubs from Europe following...

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Design Classics: The Goodison Road Stand

For all of the occasional claims to the contrary, English football has become very adept at shedding its traditions in recent years. Badges and colours have come and gone, stadia which a more enlightened society might have protected as listed buildings have been bulldozed, and the media has successfully turned a joke that football started in 1992 into a truth, of sorts. At some levels, though, tradition remains whether the game’s great reinventors like it or not, and one of the great remaining traditions of the game in this country occurs shortly before kick-off at Goodison Park, in Liverpool...

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The 2017 Under-17 World Cup: The Group Stages

The double is on. Having been stylishly convincing Under-20 World Cup winners in South Korea in June, England are contenders to add the Under-17 crown in… wait… India? Fifa’s desire to make the global game truly global is truly admirable. Taking the senior men’s World Cup to Qatar was neither admirable nor for that cause. India? Makes more sense, even at the back-end of monsoon season. And the Under-17 World Cup’s early matches have offered fabulously entertaining justification for the decision to hold it on the sub-continent. However, India owed its host status to… ugh… Sepp Blatter. The disgraced...

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USA! USA! US… Ah.

There is a tendency, on this side of the Atlantic, to continue to look down upon the United States of America’s national football team as arrivistes. Last night’s narrow defeat at the hands of Trinidad & Tobago, however, ended one of world football’s more understated runs. This is the first time that the American team has failed to reach a World Cup finals since 1986, a record that few other countries can match and an impressive achievement, even if we take into account the fact that the CONCACAF confederation might not necessarily be the deepest pool from which they...

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