Match reports


“The score is Ipswich nil, Liverpool two – if it stays like this you have to fancy Liverpool to win” …………..the late , great Peter Jones


Dateline Denton 22/8/17 KING STREET …on the Over’s pitch

Tony Cravagan Reports

Plains – Cravagan, Moore, Grimbaldeston, Wenham, Smith.
Bibs – Cooper, Dean, Oldham, Partington, Thompson.
Ref – Keith Burrows.
Warm up – Dave Partington.

Another Desmond today with an excellent evenly contested game from the Overs.
Great to have Jim Thompson back after a year out with knee problems.

Jim Thompson

Plains under pressure from the start with keeper Moore pulling off some excellent saves. Plains kept their shape with some simple football resulting in twinkle toes Wenham scoring the first goal.
Bibs pressing for an equaliser which came from a Partington well placed shot beating Keeper Cravagan in the top corner.

HT 1 – 1 with a welcomed break in the high humidity.

half time break

Second half continued with pressure from the Bibs with Cooper on the right and Oldham on the left. Despite tricky Partington feeding Dean the Plains defence held firm with blocks from Cravagan and Moore.
Shots from Cooper and Dean started to rain in but those on target were stopped by Keeper Smith.
With the Bibs playing a high line a resulting combined Wenham Grimbaldeston breakaway resulted in a rewarded goal from the latter.
Chances from Dean, Cooper and Partington were thwarted by the Plains defence but Smith was unfortunately penalised for encroachment. The resulting penalty was converted by Parington placing the ball past keeper Wenhams right.

FT 2 – 2
Plains – Wenham, Grimbaldeston
Bibs – Partington 2

Excellent game with special thanks to ref Keith Burrows

Manchester divided ! Grimbaldeston & White talk football
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  • A TIGHT ONE-ONE   22/8/17 – Alan Richards reports
  • As twenty two gathered at King Street today the air was warm and humid, but the sun failed to put in an appearance. How good it was to see Jim Thompson back in his kit and ready to keep goal once again on  the other pitch. WELCOME BACK JIM.
    Richards (me) Referee’d the UNDERS. A great game this, with both teams playing some good passes and a few poor ones but that merely added the excitement. The good was very good and there was little running to penalise, as  I’d spoken to the players before the game started. Three runs in the first half in total between the teams and just TWO in the second half, when the pace traditionally quickens. But enough said on that, let’s look at the goals.
  • —————————————–
    Both came in the first half. A cruel deflection off Wingrove broke the ice for Bibs.

    Stephen Wingrove – Ice breaker (left) Ivan Taylor above

  • Plains hit back when Adrian jones, playing in goals and making some super saves rolled the ball out to Stewart White who capitalised on his mistake. Jones continued to play well in goal but some nightmare distribution caused palpitations amongst his team mates.
    With no further goals in the second half it finished one-one. Some stand out performances and among the players that caught the eye were David Gibbons, always confident and marshalling those around him. A close game with minimal contact and a great work ratef from everyone on a warm morning in Denton.Ten ‘Lingerer’s’ Refereed by Rob Lake stayed on for a 5 v. 5 game of good quality. Barry Smith put the Plains in front before Richards (me) latched on to great ball from Nixon (or was it Bemrose) and lashed in a screamer Jim Thompson’s hands took the sting out of but couldn’t hold, it rolled over over his head just BELOW cross bar height and into the net. Comparisons with yesterdays goal at Ashton were somewhat spurious. Rob is little taller than Jim, and the ball went fully over goal height before dropping back over the line.
    That’s my story and I’m sticking to it Guv 🙂 – not often I hit a ball as sweetly as that.
    Plains were on top at times but the Bibs played some excellent football going forward. Interchanges between Burrows, Richards and Bemrose with Nixon pivotal were often a delight to watch. BUT with powerhouse Wingrove , the wily Partington and solid Cooper, plus Barry Smith in irrestible form the Plains began to turn the screw though. Smith finished up with a hat-trick and Wingrove tucked away a brace past impressive goalkeeper Jones to win by a slightly flattering five goals to one.
    A great morning of walking football… Tony Cravagans report on the  Over’s game (above) comletes the picture. Seven more players signed on for the season today. Full list sorted soon but it’s now easier to list those who have not yet committed to the cause for 2017-2018. Thanks for those returned forms.


Denton 15th. August 2017 ‘The Unders’  as reported by Trevor Brereton…


High flying Plains…where’s Joe?

It was a 6 v 6 affair this morning in the ” unders” Steve Wingrove selected the teams, with the Plains looking much the stronger side. They started well too, passing the ball accurately, and creating opportunities. Bib’s resilience was soon breached , when Wingrove lashed in an unstoppable shot, to give Plains the lead. Bibs were creating chances themselves Ainsworth’s menacing walks down the right, setting Brereton up, but  Barry Smith in the plains goal, was in scintillating form.  Plans doubled their lead,

Bemrose – ‘the hammer’

when Bemrose unleashed his left foot “hammer ” to devastating effect.

Bibs defenders Gibbons and Taylor were having to be at their best to stem the Plains tidal waves of attacks. Bibs conceded again shortly before half time, to give themselves a mountain to climb. Into the second half, and Bibs were looking for a quick goal, to give them some hope, it came through Steve Johnson, with a powerful finish past Smith. Bibs were getting good possession with Johnson and Jarvis playing some neat football,  Brereton looking to sniff out any chances. The fight back was cut short when Fielding, after twice hitting the post added number four for the Plains. . Adrian Jones, who was pivotal to Plains success, had to leave the field, after pulling up with a hamstring injury. (Get well soon Bee. Ed). This gave Bibs the chance to make the scoreline a little more respectable, but specialist keeper Barry Smith showed why he’s  such a colossus between the sticks.

Barry Smith – COLOSSUS

With Fielding and Lake on Plains defensive duties , there was little space for the Bibs attackers to exploit. A valiant second half effort by the Bibs after a first half to forget. And so it finished, a resounding 4-1 win to a more mobile and solid Plains team. The game was well refereed by David Partington, though on occasion the odd player was faster than my Internet connection, David told us to “slow down” , the advice must have been taken as no penalties were awarded.

Bibs – beaten in the end



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meanwhile on Pitch 2,


PLAINS 9 (Cooper 6, Grimbaldeston 3)

BIBS 6 (Moore 2, Brodie pen, Oldham, Richards,Whittaker)

Alan Richards reports…..A bright morning held much promise as twenty four Strider’s assembled including our two Referee’s for the morning’s first matches.
With nine more players signing on today things look bright going forward from September,  by which time we should have all filled in our new forms giving emergency contact details. If you do not have one please ask next time.

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David Partington’s idea of splitting the group into two for the warm up seemed to work, although I didn’t get a chance to take part myself. Calling on the Steve Owen method of limbering up his charges David did a grand job of getting everyone finely honed and ready for the fray, such as it is.

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    He himself Referee’d the Unders on Pitch 1. Gordon Nixon taking the Over’s game ( Sorry for the oversight Gordon – I owe you £3 OR you get a freebie next week).
  • The Over’s game was 6 v. 5 with John Williams late arrival throwing a spanner in the workings of equilibrium. Despite being outnumbered Plains made a good fist of it in the first half and only trailed by four goals to two at the break. Good goals from Whittaker, Oldham, Richards and a penalty well taken by Alan ‘Chief’ Brodie and a response from Cooper and Grimbaldeston (who unfortunately missed a penalty) meant we could redress numbers after the interval. Gordon Nixon decided to Referee from the goalkeeping position for Plains. The men in front of him soon began to rally. Inspired by the ever mobile and impressively energetic Cravagan.
  • However it was Hadge Cooper who led  the charge, in somewhat unstoppable mode today, he bagged another five goals in a remarkable second half display for a double hat-trick.
  • With Grimbaldeston also adding two more for his own three goal salvo, Plain shirts were running rampant although Bibs did respond with a fine brace from David Moore, also in good form today.
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    The final scoreline of 9-6 to Plain’s was justification for their attitude of never-say-die, as Bib’s defence crumbled time and time again, and going forward their play was marred by poor passing.
    Later, the ‘Lingerer’s’ numbered only eight and with  no natural, or willing goalkeepers. Richards Refereed a game with two upturned stools in each goal. A tiny target but give these eight men a ball to kick and a pitch to play on and they’ll make the best of it. I think it was Colin Fielding whose precision finish put plains ahead.
  • Bibs responded with Trevor Brereton who had plenty of attempts on the stools but finally steered one in. The winner for Plains came form a bizarre deflection after a Jarvis kick towards goal and the ball trickled into the stool. Not ideal. My bad in forgetting the mni-goals…they take a lot of room up in the van to be honest and I will examine the possibility of purchasing a set of pop-up goals later this week to cover such eventualities. It will also give us enough options to play two simultaneous mini-goal games at once if ever we should need to.
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    Players who renewed ‘their vows’ for a fiver today : FIELDING / PARTINGTON /LANCASHIRE/ BEMROSE /BRODIE / GRIMBALDESTON / OLDHAM /BRERETON /AINSWORTH  If YOU renewed today and your name is NOT here, please contact me by hook or by crook…but email is easier.
  • Brave Bibs but could not hold on to what they had

    The glorious Plains today



August 1st. 2017


Trevor Brereton reports….

The morning drizzle did little to dampen the enthusiasm of the 12 “under” striders this morning on pitch 1. Teams selected by Rob Lake showed yellow bibs had a strong line up on paper. Sensibly we don’t play on paper, as that would be impractical.

– – – – – – – – – –

  • Yellows had the better of the early play, but neither keeper was troubled . Reds took a shock lead with a twice taken penalty, as Keith Burrows beat Barry Smith, down to his right. Reds lead didn’t last for long as Steve Wingrove drove home a fine equaliser. Yellows were enjoying more possession , with Quinn and Jones finding space, but clear cut chances were few, as the reds defence held firm. On the stroke of half time, yellows did break through, when penalty king Wingrove fired past Burrows. The reds got their heads together at the interval to find a way back, against their tricky opponents. There was little to choose between the sides early in the second half, Jones shot high and wide, for yellows, reds classy attacker White was being well marshalled by Lake and Gibbons. Nixon was advancing on the right, but it would be better to draw a veil over his attempts at goal. The lively Wingrove was well contained by the “august” Fielding, whose mantra, “thou shalt not pass” was working a treat. Quinn was showing why he’s a vital acquisition for “Rangers” at next week’s tournament. Time was running out for reds, when Brereton shot from the edge of the “D” , but bespectacled septuagenarian stopper Smith, stuck out a hand, to make a fine save. It looked like the game was up for reds, when with 2 mins left , the long haired “yeti ” Joe Bemrose beat Smith with a fearsome left foot finish. And there it ended , a “Desmond”, a fair result on the balance of play. Thanks to Alan Graham for refereeing.




and now…the overs…..


The promised rain showed up eventually but the threat didn’t deter 24 players at King Street this morning. A nice , handy number.
Yours Truly Referee’d the ‘Overs’. Another good game of little running allied to very minimal contact, with just five incidents of running penalised the whole match. With the slates wiped clean at half time there were no penalties given.

  • – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    A piledriver shot from Keith Oldham as the summer rain  began to fall almost went in. Sweetly struck and Keith really got hold of that one, it would have been a spectacular goal.
    Some good passing once more on show. It was nil-nil at half time. Perhaps the ‘D’s’ had a part to play. they were MASSIVE today. I’m not sure who marked them out.
    The Bibs took the lead when a long pass ( for I’m sure that’s what was intended) from Partington somehow evaded a ruck of players and foxed the Plain’s Goalkeeper Wenham by going in off a post. Baffling but Partington’s wry smile said it all.
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    Bibs failed to capitalise on some decent link up play featuring Ken Dean and Mark Whittaker, improving every week as he settles into the game.
    Plains equalised after firing past Graham Oakley. With just a few minutes to go a little confusion between Oakley and Partington saw John Williams  steal in and stab the ball past the ‘keeper for what turned out to be the winning goal !
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    As about sixteen Lingerers remained to get their money’s worth  as Richards  joined in on the Plain side. They established a two nil lead fairly quickly. AGAIN on target John Williams opened the scoring and this was followed up by a quality finish from Peter Jarvis – the ‘Overs’ showing some of the ‘Unders’ how it’s done. Two nil at the break, with Brodie going close at one point. Plains may have been further ahead due to urgent play from Quinn and Wingrove chances but chances were limited. Fielding and Cooper were effective in defence. Nixon was also solid in goal for a while for Bibs.
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    An energetic Brereton had seemingly met his match in Barry Smith, the Plain’s goalkeeper. Some superb shot-stopping from Smith who often just refuses to be beaten. This couldn’t last though and a fierce shot was deflected past him by an unfortunate Jarvis for the Bibs opener. Brereton finally found a gap in the Plain’s defences to score an equaliser.
  • Quite a comeback, and Bibs were not finished yet. with the aid of a penalty for a third running offence Hadge Cooper stepped up to convert the spot kick and that was the game won. Plains pressed hard for an equaliser, inspired by the mobile Rob Lake but the game ended in a 3-2 win for Bibs. Well deserved for driving on in the face of adversity.
  • No photo’s today – we’ll make up for that next week…and then some.
  • There may be lots of penalties next week.





and David Grimbaldeston conjures up  a hat trick

Twenty four players gathered at King Street. Warm up done the teams were split along age lines as usual. Although of course wherever possible, then  given the option of their pitch of choice.
The Over’s played a one sided game in which the Plain shirts dominated. Early strikes from Grimbaldeston (2) and Jarvis gave the Orange bibs a mountain to climb and despite pulling one back from Keith Oldham they never really got beyond base camp.

Three one at half time and within seconds of the restart, Alan Richards had slotted the ball home from a tight angle following a good ball from Peter Jarvis. Then he followed that up with a decent right foot finish after Grimabaldeston put him through. Richards returned the compliment as Grimbaldeston claimed a hat-trick from his pass, and Jarvis added another. I think there was another goal but whether  Cravagan, Roddy  or Brodie scored it I’m not quite sure.

Eight one at the end despite sterling efforts from Roy Smith,Ken Dean , Hadge Cooper and John Williams nothing much went right for the Bibs today. Bernard Roddy continues to amaze us with his touch and mobility and it was good to see Mark Whittaker looks like becoming a regular. All agreed it was an enjoyable game thanks to Stewart White for Refereeing.

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    The Lingerers game ended in some confusion.  A keenly contested 6 v. 6 . But was it 3 – 1 or was it 2 – 2 ? The only light I can shed is it’s not really important. Goals from Jeremie Coulon (good to see him returning)  and David Quinn put the Bibs noses in front but Bemrose pulled one back. A penalty for running was retaken after Grimbaldeston was adjudged to have taken more than one step. The retaken kick was pushed wide by Bemrose. Trevor Brereton scored as we neared the end . For clarification on penalties and the method of taking the check <here>
    A good turnout – just about manageable numbers.  We await Trevor Brereton’s report on the Under’s . Two weeks to the festival games and as the one who has organised most of this and had the original idea, all I ask is not let’s take this upcoming internal competition too seriously. PLEASE. It’s a bit of fun for us all to enjoy. John Williams has joined the Rovers squad and Yours truly may have to pull out from Rovers to augment The Wanderer’s. Still time to settle on that yet so watch this webspace. Best Wishes to David Wilson, again unwell and we will hope to see him back with us in any capacity soon.
the white bibs UNDERS today…here’s Trevor Brereton’s match bulletin…
  • Denton 25th July

    LAST GASP WINNER FROM THE MIGHTY QUINN………….Trevor Brereton reporting…

    A pulsating 6 v 6 in the ‘Unders’ this morning, a game of penalties, controversy, and a dramatic climax. The team selection fell to David Partington, and his bibs team included the double act Wingrove and Lake, and the man with the fearsome left foot, Smokin’ Joe Bemrose.

    Plains welcomed back french sharpshooter Jeremie Coulon, and with Denton’s No. 1 specialist keeper Barry Smith, they looked a strong outfit. Plains were off to a flyer when Coulon from close range made it un – neant to la plains.

    — – – – – – – – – – –

    With only 5 mins on the clock bibs were awarded a penalty (3 runs), which Wingrove powered past Smith. Plains were passing the ball well, with Quinn, Ward and Brereton, combining, to threaten a bibs team including Dave Gibbons and Graham Oakley . For bibs Wingrove was finding Lake who passed back to Wingrove., with Bemrose 

    Joe Bemrose – had the ocassional pop

    taking the occasional pop at goal. Towards the end of the first half Smith made a stunning save down to his right to deny Wingrove. Early in the second half bibs were awarded a penalty (3 runs) again converted by Wingrove. Plains were not downhearted, and the pacey Pete Ward, made up for earlier running offences, to level the scores. Bibs were threatening the plains goal, and with only Colin Fielding a regular defender, their more attacking players were having to drop deep to snuff out the bibs attack. Bibs took the lead for a third time when Wingrove, a man who knows where the side netting is, completed a fine hat trick, from just outside the “D”. Plains were in no mood to concede defeat, and equalised, when in a rare moment of defensive frailty 

    Trevor Brereton – in typical ‘pouncing’ mode

    Brereton pounced to make it 3-3. Plains had their tails up now, and thought they had scored the winner.

    Partington dived to his left, and pushed the ball onto the underside of the crossbar, the ball appeared to have crossed the line, but with referee Graham’s view obscured, and with no goal line technology available, it remained 3-3.

    David Quinn – winning goal

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    Moments later, and with only seconds remaining Dave Quinn scored a dramatic winner for plains, reward for an all action performance.

    One of the best, and hardest games this fledgling reporter has played in , at Denton, for quite a while. A deserved plains victory, considering all four of their goals, came from open play. Thanks to Alan Graham for Refereeing this morning’s game.

    (I think you’re fully ‘fledged’ now Trevor – Ed.)

    PLAINS 4 , Ward 1, Smith, Brereton 1, Quinn 1, Coulon, Fielding

    BIBS 3, WINGROVE 3, Partington, Gibbons, Oakley, Bemrose, Lake

    Plains team today for the UNDERS – Jeremie Coulon far right
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July 18th Denton

Richards Refereed the Overs today. Some dissent in the ranks and admittedly not his (my)  best performance with the whistle – later adapted to a siren but there we are. Some days are diamonds, some days are stones. David Moore has made a good suggestion to avoid whistle confusion in future – all will be revealed in due course.

Four nil up at half time Plains were in total command with Colin Fielding bagging a hat trick I think, the last one a penalty. Well done Colin. Fine performance today sir.

We welcomed Mark Whittaker aboard the good ship Striders and he took to walking football like a duck to water. Mark’s aim is to get fitter and lose a little weight and  he rightly sees walking football as one way to start –

Whittaker – made his MARK

this is what the game is really all about. A means of getting out of the house and back into playing with other guys – some banter and plenty of cameraderie.

  • – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    When Mark acclimatises himself fully to our pace he will be some player, his feet are quick and he knows what he’s doing with a football… make no mistake about that. Bill Lancashire seemed to hurt a hand stopping a fierce shot. Hope all okay Bill.
  • David Grimbaldeston

    David Grimbaldeston improving every week missed a penalty for Bibs and there was no further score after the break – so long as I am aware. Four nil it stayed. Good to see Roy Smith back with us.

    Roy Smith
  • David Wilson in new, bright yellow boots and David Wenham back after a  short lay off. The game was a little disjointed with several stoppages for this and that but not the other.
  • The cameraderie doesn’t stretch quite that far  ! (thank goodness)
  • Plains triumphant…
  • Who Lingered…?
  • Later SIXTEEN Lingerers played a game with a difference. Tiny goals and hastily grasped rules. No goalkeepers. Ideally this method of the game is suited to lower numbers and a smaller pitch but we went with it. David Partington Stroking home a penalty from fifteen metres to put his Bibs side ahead – only to be ordered to retake it with just one step. The unguarded goal seemed tiny but David – under pressure now – side-footed the ball home for a second time.
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  • Alan Richards emulated the feat a couple of minutes later. Another penalty. Deep into his comfort zone here, he went middle for diddle. Adding another to his tally soon afterwards with a  precision finish from twelve metres out.
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    At the other end David Quinn missed a penalty for Bibs.

    David Quinn

    After the break David Wilson christened those dazzling boots with a fine goal from ten metres or so. This is where my memory start to fail. I think David Quin scored a second Bibs goal to reduce the arrears to 3-2. If it was someone else I al-opogise.
    When David Wilson went off the field after Rob Lake’s arm caught him in the nose Richards left with him to square the numbers up.

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  • Right at the end David Partington got an equaliser, again from the penalty spot.
  • Bibs 3 – Plains 3. Well done all in adapting and trying the mini-goals. Finesse over power but I also think they are fine for smaller sided games. Trouble is though we have a shortage of ‘keepers, and men who want to face major firepower. With another hand injury today to Bill Lancashire , the problem of hard shooting needs to be addressed. Yes, it’s part and parcel of the game to an extent but when we are playing internally with reluctant goalkeepers we need to think on.
  • – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    I hope Keith Burrows is soon feeling better – arriving late today he sat out the Lingerer’s match with ‘flu-like’ symptoms.
  • Good to see Jim Thompson walking pain free with his new knee ! We compared scars before the game – my two whoppers on both upper thigh sand his more recent kneecapping job !
  • Jim’s scar

    Someone once said mine looked like I’d been attacked by a Great White (not Stewart). This brought to mind Alan ‘Chief’ Brodie of course, and looking at the team pic we ARE definitely going to need a bigger bib !

  • Bibs well beaten !

    Bumper turnout today guys…we can’t handle many more than this in one session. David Gibbons has become the first player to pay his £5 signing on fee.

    Caption anyone ?

    Thanks David. I’ll remind all Striders that these fivers are due in August AND YOU WILL BE REQUIRED TO FILL IN A NEW FORM – cheers.

  • As we’re talking scars I’ll leave you with one o’mine – I have the same on the other side – always one for balance 🙂 Remember these and go easy the next time I miss a sitter (bum-bum)

    Balance my a*se !




Stewart clearly stars….

July 18th King Street

WHITE TOO HOT TO HANDLE……….. as our man Trevor Brereton reports…

In the ‘unders’ this morning, Stewart White was assigned the tricky task of selecting the teams. Bibs boasted the returning ‘specialist’ keeper Barry Smith, while plain’s keeper Alan Graham had the dual role of playing and refereeing. A brisk beginning to the game, soon resulted in a bibs penalty (3 runs). There where a number of player’s in the frame to take the pen, Brereton took responsibility, and fired past Graham.

  • – – – – – – –
  • Plain’s looked good going forward, their main goal threats Bemrose and Jarvis looking to capitalise on any defensive errors. Bibs were beginning to move the ball well, Jones, Quinn and Johnson winning the midfield battle. Following on from yesterday’s MOTM performance at Curzon, White put the bibs two up from close range. Bibs were playing with freedom and confidence, White and Brereton combining paticularly well.
  • –   – – – – – – – – – – – –
  • Plains were lucky to reach half time with just a 2-0 deficit. At the start of the second half Keith Burrows joined the plains, and Alan Graham Refereeing from the side-line. Bibs had their tails up, playing with freedom and confidence, and were keen to put the game to bed. Partington made a typical mazy forward walk, did a step over , which sent two players to Crown Point, and found White who finished with aplomb. Plains were awarded a lifeline when they were awarded a pen (3 runs), but Bemrose shot cannoned off the post.
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  • When plains did fashion chances, keeper Barry Smith’s reflexes were as sharp as ever after three weeks holiday in Greece. White and Brereton made it 5-0 to the bibs, as plains pushed forward, and left openings at the back. Plains scored a consolation goal through Bemrose, a reward for all his hard work. Bibs showed no mercy as Brereton made it 6-1, White scored his FOURTH of the game, take a bow son, to make it 7-1. Bibs must have been pleased to hear the final whistle, though they had plenty of possession, bibs superior finishing and mobility made the difference. Thanks to AG for refereeing.
  • – – – – – – – – –
  • Top of the World Ma ! – or Trevor – subtle movie reference you may not even recognise with a Cagney classic that sits on  a shelf here….WHITE HEAT _________________________________________________-

Bibs. 7 , WHITE 4, BRERETON 3

Plains 1, BEMROSE.

July 11th Denton


By Trevor Brereton….The ‘unders’  game on pitch 1 today, was a 5 v 5 that both teams deserve huge credit for. Two equally matched teams , who were committed from the first to the final whistles. Plains started well, having a number of shots that were well saved by Dave Gibbons in the Bibs goal. Against the run of play, Bibs took the lead,  Partington made an initial, save the ball re-bounded to Wingrove , who’s shot was saved low down at Partington’s feet, but the ball spun back agonisingly over the line. Bibs had a chance to go 2 up, when they were awarded a penalty ( 3 runs)..Adrian Jones faced Stewart White in the Plains goal. Jones struck the ball well, but White stuck a hand out, and has now made three consecutive penalty saves. Both teams were playing attractive football, and utilising the space afforded by a 5 v 5 game. For Bibs Wingrove was spraying the ball around, more than usual,  Bemrose went close with a long range effort, and Oakley was always eager to support.  For Plains, White and Brereton were finding space, ready to receive incisive passes from Pete Jarvis. Shortly before half time White struck from close range to give plains a deserved equaliser.


Into the second half, both teams looked to take the initiative, not an inch was given for plains Burrows and Partington, were coolness personified, frustrating danger man Wingrove . Midway through the second half Plains took the lead, Brereton evading his marker, and beating Jones from close range. Further Plains chances followed, Jarvis missing the target, when one on one with the keeper, and Brereton hitting a post. Then Bibs had a good spell of pressure, it needed full concentration, and every ounce of effort, by Plains to hold on to their lead. White got a foot in, Brereton blocked shots Partington and Burrows were unflappable. There was just time for Brereton to clip a post late on, as Plains, for their superior passing, flair, and guts, recorded a deserved victory. Running was kept to a minimum, with only one penalty, and shooting accuracy was better than usual. Thanks to Alan Graham for refereeing.

Alan Graham

Plains 2, White 1, Brereton 1, Jarvis, Burrows, Partington

Bibs.1 Wingrove 1, Bemrose, Oakley, Gibbons, Jones.

(Good stuff Trevor – sounds like a fine game Ed.)

where’s the Party?



Miniature malarkey and a day of ‘Grimbaldestiny’ for David ?

not quite, but please read on…….

Splendid goings on at King Street this morning even if numbers were down a little. Tony Cravagan stuck in traffic, and Dave Wilson minus his lift ,plus a few other notable absences meant we could only manage 5v5 on the Unders Pitch 1 and a measly 4v4 on the Over’s, next door on Pitch 2. No matter – we had a good time.

Game One: Bibs 5 (Lancashire 3, Brodie, Taylor?) Plains 0 (Nobody)
Playing in the Overs game myself we plain shirts were outpassed and out scored in the first half. Despite the impressive energy of Chairman Gordon, the mainstay of our team for minutes on end our opponents in Yellow were superior. Bill Lancashire , perhaps on the cusp of a run sometimes but always powerful and hard to mark struck twice early on. Before we knew it Ivan Taylor and Hadge Cooper were bossing the midfield. Alan ‘Chief’ Brodie too was on target to make it three with half of the half left to go. I think Cooper may have added to the tally, orn another one from Lancashire but at half-time the 5-0 scoreline underlined the gulf between these two teams which didn’t exist in theory.  Sometimes this game is hard to explain. There was no lack of effort from Williams, Ainsworth, Richards ,Nixon and Co. but it wasn’t their day.
Game within a game:

DOWNSIZING IN LATER LIFE IS NOT UNCOMMON…..but is this ridiculous?…read on..


Bibs 2 (Lancashire, Cooper ) Plains 1 (Richards)…
At half time things changed. Some of us had a long discussion the night before on Facebook about an idea from Yours Truly. This involves deploying mini-goals at the back of the conventional frame. They are tiny…and call for finesse rather than power. I’d suggested that when numbers are low they help us do without goalkeepers. We fine tuned the rules and even made some up as we went along but this was a very entertaining diversion – I think everyone agreed on that.

  • – – – – – – – –

We started afresh. Bill Lancashire – on fire today – opened the scoring for Bibs and the clinical strike looked even more spectacular in the small goals.
Richards , after good work from Nixon and Ainsworth ‘passed’ with precision into the net from about nine  metres to make it one each. At this point Gordon Nixon strayed into his own ‘D’ ahead of the ball and handled. We hastily concluded it deserved a penalty to Bibs. Appropriate distance was deemed to be about 12 metres from the mini- goal and Ivan Taylor took the spot kick but put the ball wide with the mini-goals totally undefended.

  • – – – – – – – –
    This exercise in diddy-ness meant we all needed to pass and move more looking for space in which to carve out chances to strike precisely, from distance. A very useful training exercise in my humble opinion – others agreed.
    In the closing minutes Hadge Cooper scored a cracking goal (they really do look even better when they hit the tiny target) to deliver a win for Bibs. The Experiment was  judged a success, I think and we can fine tune one or two rules if we do it again. Defender’s are allowed in the ‘D’ but only after the ball has entered too – otherwise the ‘D’s are an exclusion zone. Pass, move, find space and look for the target. Without ‘keepers, a 4 v 4 effectively becomes a five a side game when it comes to the outfield. Feedback welcomed – on this and anything else please.
  • the guinea pigs and their goal

I await Trevor’s Report from the ‘Unders’

Later the ‘Lingerers’ plus Dave Grimbaldeston enjoyed a good 7 v 7 game of fifteen minutes each way Refereed by David Wilson. How good it was to see him looking so well (thanks for the super printing job Dave) . After five minutes , Partington cottoned onto a Richards through ball and finding himself in acres of space close to the Bibs ‘D’. Dithered for what seemed an eternity- and might have been done for loitering……

  • – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    two stalwarts – Gordon Nixon, Trevor Brereton

….was DP trying to psyche out the ‘Keeper ? We’ll never know, but eventually he made his mind up to strike and fired a beauty past Alan Graham.
Plains went two up with an absolute stunner from Trevor Brereton. When Trevor hits one just right there are few goalkeepers who can intervene. It’s not so much raw power as positioning.
Keith Burrows and John Williams were shoring up the Bibs midfield and always looking to involve others. Peter Jarvis doing the same job for the opposition as well as a generous stint between the sticks.

Keith Burrows

Must also include Gordon Nixon in that regard.
The standard was high and there were a couple of runs. Playing the percentage game of shooting at almost every opportunity Bemrose and Wingrove led the fight back but both scuffed shots very wide of the mark. It was left to David Grimbaldeston who is re-discovering his touch with every game he plays to open the Bibs account with an excellent finish from distance.


It was almost a day of Grimbaldestiny when after coolly converting a penalty in the second half he almost made it a maiden walking football hat Excellent performance from him today. That man Wingrove popped up late to find his range and beat ‘keeper Brodie with a crisp drive.

Despite much instigation from Stewart White looking to play the ball across his forward line as much as possible,  there was no way back for Plains with Hadge Cooper amongst others, solid and  determined to keep Bibs noses in front, but the narrow scoreline underlined the balance of the teams.

The Lingerati  spending their excess energy in a wholly positive way. Barely a cross word was heard all morning . Thanks for Refereeing, David Wilson. Never an easy job.

Referee Wilson – better late than never as his mate Burrows looks on ready to take the Mick.





Lingering with intent…




– – – – – – – —

Denton 4th July – THE UNDERS !

A JARVIS BRACE AS PLAINS SHOW THEIR TEETH   – Trevor Brereton reporting…

It was left to Rob Lake to choose the teams this morning, for the under 65s. match As it transpired, his selections played out an enthralling game of WF.

The bibs started the brighter, with Dave Quinn returning after a long injury lay off, firing them ahead. The plains had a chance to equalise when they were awarded a pen (3 runs). Brereton stepped up, but saw his shot pushed, not only over the bar, but over the 20 ft fence, by goalkeeper Stewart White. Minutess later bibs had a chance to go further ahead, when they were awarded a penalty (3 team runs). Earlier, goalscorer Quinn stepped up, but fired well wide. For plains Bemrose was heavily involved, but couldn’t find his range  with that lethal left peg.

  • – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

For bibs, Wingrove was pivotal to their attacking threat and  his constant dribbling, kept Gibbons and Lake occupied, but Steve’s usual accurate shooting was more of a threat to low flying aircraft this morning.

  • – – – – – – – – – – – –
  • Half Time arrived with bibs 1-0 ahead, and all to play for. Neither team could maintain any great momentum, due to the many stoppages in the game for goalkeeping changes, penalties, high balls etc. Having said that, plains were awarded their second penalty (3 team runs), and Jarvis made no mistake from the spot.
  • – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
  • Brereton was struggling to find his range until, after neat footwork, he found the corner of the net, to put  his team ahead.  Plains  perseverance was almost rewarded again , when Brereton – again in the thick of the action – hit the foot of the post. Plains were now playing with confidence, and increased their lead when Brereton found Jarvis in space, and the Glossop man made no mistake.
  • – – – – – – – – – –
  • With time running out bibs reduced the arrears when Wingrove converted from the penalty spot (3 sprints!).  Plains held out, and considering their second half comeback, they were good value for their victory.
  • Thanks to Alan Graham being the “man in the middle, this morning. 
  • Thanks Trevor – Ed.)



Bibs 4 (Lancashire 2, Richards 2) :  Plains 3 (Dean 2, Moore)

David Partington Referee’d for the ‘Overs’ in a close game at King Street today.
Keith Oldham charged with selecting the teams:
Bibs: Stafford / Cravagan /Wenham/Lancashire/ Richards
Plains: Dean / Oldham /Grimbaldeston /Williams / Moore

  • – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Some good interplay from both sides and with only minimal attempts at running.
    Bill Lancashire was penalised for a brief burst , but more than made up for his indiscretion by striking a fine goal  for Bibs, the goalkeeper rooted to the spot as the ball flew into the net.
    At the other end, Ken Dean struck back. The ball striking the underside of the bar and bouncing down. To some – mostly with Bibs on – it looked like ‘no goal’ but the eagle eyed man in black saw it differently and awarded the goal to Dean. Memories of ’66 an all that. There was no rancour and no arguments I’m pleased to report. Slightly more at stake at Wembley.
  • – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Within a few seconds Bill Lancashire had recorded a brace with another firm shot. He’s a real threat these days going forward. Plains were not lying down though and David Moore popped up on the edge of the ‘D’ to fire past Brian Stafford.
    To be fair, Bibs were fortunate to have Stafford between the posts. He is a specialist ‘keeper and a good one. I think his presence made the difference today as he pulled off some fine saves and blocks from the orthodox to the unorthodox, trapping a Williams effort between his thighs !
  • – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Alan Richards, revelling in this company found the target and beat Grimbaldeston at his near post with a precision toe poke. Richards hit the post a minute later , much to his despair.
    As the teams turned around, a heavy shower had just departed the scene and we all enjoyed a brief breather.  H;T 3-2.
    Tony Cravagan was once again in fine form today and his passing, along with the movement of Lancashire and poise  of Wenham was keeping the Plains in check.
    John Williams, dogged in defence – always a solid unit not easily beaten with the ball was moving forward to threaten Stafford but it was Dean who found an equaliser to double his goal tally for the day.
  • – – – – – – – – – –
  • On balance of play, with a lively Grimbaldeston adding some good touches and the passing of Oldham,  3 – 3 looked like a fair result. But Bibs were in mean mood and continued to look for openings.  They found one  with an incisive pass from Lancashire to Richards who advanced with the ball at his feet, and  glimpsing ‘keeper Williams wide open legs nutmegged him for a winning goal of some quality.
    The seconds ticked away but Plains were denied by resolute defending inspired by Cravagan.
    Again, in conclusion it was a great game played in the best of spirit, with only one running offence per team and barely a foul , the Referee set the tone for the game and marshalled us perfectly.
    Pure walking football it has to be said.  Bravo chaps !
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Yours truly ‘lingered’ in spectator mode until it was plain that Plain’s were struggling a bit. I witnessed a fine Hadge Cooper goal , drilled home with power skimming the deck and seemingly unstoppable. Stewart White popped up with his nimble feet to first double the lead and then make it three-nil with another precision strike. Joining the game at that point the extra man may have at least helped to steady the Plain’s ship….
    Hadge Cooper – an eventful day for him – had ANOTHER goal disallowed, penalised for running ! Much to his surprise, and everyone else’s.
    Plains pulled one back – it may have been Brereton , but I can’t be sure. Richards stepped up to take a penalty (3 runs) and, foolishly expecting Cooper to move on way or the other sidefooted it down the middle, right at the stationary Hadge. Not quite ‘the worst penalty ever’, as someone opined (take a look on youtube sometime mate) an ‘old mans penalty’ without a doubt….at least it was on-target, unlike some o’ these <piss poor pens>
    Memories of last year’s Wigan shoot-out provoked thought of the highs and lows of this fickle game. Enough said.
    Bibs could not add to their first half tally. Trevor may have his own thoughts on the Lingerer’s game and of course ‘the Unders’. We await his report.
  • – – – – – – – – – – – –
    No Photographs today. With well over a thousand images now on our Flickr feed the camera is being rested for a week or two. It will be out for the Festival in August. Captain’s please be filling in your teams sheets and extracting £4 from each player before July’s end – REMEMBER THERE WILL BE NOTHING TO PAY ON THE DAY. We are renting D.Y.F.C. for three hours to allow for our A.G.M. Thanks to Graham Brown – returned from Gran Canaria – in the office & serving up brews – good to see you back Graham.
  • (David Wilson  – Wanderer’s team sheet is printed,  prepared and waiting for you :-))


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27th June 17, Denton

Trevor Brereton reports….
Just a few details of events at Denton this morning. In the over 65’s, the game ended 5-3. Midway during the game David Wilson became unwell and Stewart White drove him to A+E purely  as a precaution. I’m sure everyone wishes David well, and we can welcome him back, soon as.

On Pitch one, in the ‘unders’ the game finished 2-1 to the plains, with Joe Bemrose (playing his first game with the ‘younger’ players) on the score sheet for the plains. Ten ‘lingerers‘ stayed for the second hour, a game that saw the Bibs triumph 7-2, with 6 goals from Brereton.

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(thanks Trevor – well done on the six goals – Ed) 

Get well soon David – we are thinking of you and will keep in touch 


June 20th. 2017  Two Dozen Striders…conjure up  a ‘Desmond’ and…er…something else

Under’s… (65’s, that is)…

Denton 20/6/17

Trevor Brereton reports..and was on the scoresheet once again

A good gathering on pitch 1 this morning, as 12 under 65s turned out under blue skies at Denton.It was down to Chairman Gordon to select the teams, as there looked to be an im-balance in the sides, it was decided the talented Wingrove should be transferred. Once underway plains started well, with Jones and Ward combining well , and threatening blues shaky defence.  Indeed it wasn’t long before Plains took the lead with a neat finish from master dribbler Steve Wingrove. After a two minute interval for drinks Blues seemed refreshed, and equalised with a well taken penalty by Steve Johnson. Further woe was to follow for Plains, when a minute later when Brereton gave blues the lead with a powerful drive. For Plains, Jones was never afraid to have a shot, but struggled to trouble Blue’s keepers. After incurring three running offences, Blues conceded a penalty. Surely Wingrove would score, but NO! White moving swiftly six inches to his left, pulled off a fine save.A fter another short drinks interval we were back underway. Plains looked the stronger team now, with blues on the back foot. Lake and Nixon in Plain’s defence had little to do, and were able to support their attack. For Blues, little magician White’s wand was wide of the mark today. With five minutes remaining Plains scored an equaliser through Wingrove, direct from a corner, very unfortunate for blues keeper Johnson who got a touch to the ball. In the final minutess both defences held firm, and the game finished in a “Desmond” 🙂 A  2-2 draw. Thank you to Alan Graham for refereeing today’s game.


Plains: WINGROVE (2), NIXON, OAKLEY, WARD, LAKE, JONES.   (Thanks Trevor. Ed.)


Over’s :  Plains 7 (Bemrose 4, Richards 3)  Orange Bibs 1 (Williams)

Five past ten and still they kept coming.
Twenty four Striders regaled with tales of internal comps , form filling and various extra curricular activities.

Our core ‘business’ – internal walking football, and what a morning of that we all enjoyed today.  See Trevor Brereton’s view of the ‘Under’s’ (above)  but Pitch Two saw some glimpses of sumptuous football with a many as fifteen passes strung together at one point!  Even more remarkable that it was all from the same team.
Joe’ Blaster’ Bemrose fired home a first half hat-trick. The service from Grimbaldeston and Partington was often  of the highest order.  Partington in particular the midfield marshal. A succession of Goalkeeper’ s were beaten by Bemworse, with Bernard Roddy coming closest  to losing his head as a rifled shot just evaded his bonce and came off his gloved hands into the goal. Alan Richards with several shots on or just off target added another goal. With just one in reply from John Williams – albeit a stylish finish for Orange –  a half time lead of 4:1 looked unassailable. But it’s a hill that’s been climbed before on this pitch.

  • – – – – – – – – – – – –
John Williams – stylish finish

Cooper and Cravagan were doing their level best to stem the tide, and hardworking Alan ‘Chief’ Brodie was often an outlet for them on the right. That role for Plains was taken by the impressive Keith Oldham, always aware and on message, and with a keen eye for a crossfield ball. Bemrose and Partington were the Plains engine room confident in the knowledge a good custodian in the form of Brian Stafford was between the sticks.

  • – – – – – – – – – –
    For Bibs, Bernard Roddy again displayed some neat touches and is always a willing worker – even in the heat. Peter Jarvis toiled, but couldn’t find a way through today.
  • – – – – – – – – – –
    Alan Richards, was a constant  threat for Plains with countless efforts on goal. Found in space by Grimbaldeston, he evaded the shackles of Cravagan to finish well and make it 5:1.

    Bemrose and Richards – SEVEN UP!

    Richards now cock-a-hoop and enjoying his little self , was fed brilliantly by Partington and steered another shot past Cooper to complete a deserved hat-trick . Blaster Bemrose added a superb fourth to his tally.

  • – – – – – – – – – –
  • Methinks, on this evidence Joe might try a run out with the Under’s before much longer. He is mobile and strong and helped to make a substantial part of the difference today.
  • – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Teams: Orange: Cravagan , Cooper ,Williams, Brodie ,Roddy, Jarvis.
    Plains: Stafford , Partington, Oldham, Grimbaldeston, Bemrose, Richards
    On balance perhaps a slightly skewed team selection but although well beaten the men in Bibs never allowed their heads to drop and kept pressing until the final whistle. Applied by David Wilson, our Referee today. Thanks David.

Turnout pic on the news page today – this one is getting full up!

  • _____________________________________-

Yours truly Referee’d this one, with Alan Graham joining in the play. 6 v.6. Pete Jarvis put White’s ahead. Soon afterwards that man Bemrose had put his team one up with a fierce shot from just over half way. He added another before much longer and at three nil the White bibbed men were cruising. Despite the best efforts of Stewart White and Trevor Brereton in Blue , their team couldn’t get going. Grimbaldeston and Cooper seemed to flag a little. Although a breeze was cooling things down a tad it was still hot ! Tribute to fitness that several players were penalised for running.Gordon Nixon’s movement and energy levels continue to amaze.
Steve Wingrove put the game beyond Blues with a fine goal, and then Stewart White conceded a penalty, saved by Alan ‘Chief’ Brodie. Minutes later though Graham had the chance to redeem himself and he struck home from the edge of the ‘D’.
Five nil flattered the White’s a little and the tireless legs of Brereton in blue & team mate White did their utmost to redress the balance but not enough effective support today.
Teams: White Bibs: Bemrose, Partington, Wingrove,Lake, Jarvis
Blue Bibs: Nixon , Grimbaldeston, Brodie, White, Brereton, Graham.

  • Denton 13/6/17 Under 65s.


    Trevor Brereton reporting….

    took all of ten seconds to make his presence felt

    A closely contested 5 v 5 affair this morning on pitch 1. Teams selected by Brereton looked equally matched, at least in age and height. In the first few moments, the “white” bibbed” Conroy

    almost caught out Smith with a shot that thundered back off the post. “Blues soon settled into the game, and two Brereton goals gave them an early lead. The normally well balanced “white” bibbed Wingrove trod on the ball and hit the deck three times in the first half, fortunately only suffering a grazed knee. “Blues went three up with a fine goal from the hard working Jones.  Wingrove reduced the deficit with a penalty on the stroke of half time.

    HT Blues 3 :Whites 1

    Blues continued to dominate, playing some great free flowing un – selfish football, Ward, Jones and Brereton combining well, and Lake solid as a rock, containing the mazy runs of his mate Wingrove. Brereton added a fourth for “blues” before the tricky White, skillful and more composed than Beethoven, reduced the arrears from the pen spot. Blues fifth, and possibly the goal of the game came after 9/10 passes, and finished with a flourish by Jones.

    “Blues” were never going to throw in the towel, and stayed in the game thanks to another penalty. Smith in the “blues” goal, though not having his finest game, made vital saves to keep his team in the ascendancy. Ward added a sixth for blues”, before Nixon thwarted Brereton with two fine saves, one from the pen spot. Blues sealed a deserved victory with two late Brereton goals, one of which dislocated glove- less Nixon’s finger. The granite faced keeper administered first aid, and tape from Stewart , made sure our Chairman was fully repaired. That’s the game pretty much as I remember it, though a degree of ” artistic licence” was used.

    Blues 8 Jones 2, Ward 1, Brereton 5

    Whites 5 White 1, Wingrove 3 Conroy 1



  • – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

GOALS GALORE as June’s busting out all over….

The Over’s in Orange   4 :  2  The Over’s in Maroon

Twenty plus turnout on a decent Denton morning.
We warmed up and soon got underway on two pitches. Both games were captured on camera as the Secretary awaited a visit from Sharon McGladdery to talk about the way we organise things.
Organisation on the pitches was supervised by Messrs: Graham, and Wilson. With everyone bibbed it was a fine sight to see so many older men having fun at King Street. Something we must never take for granted, guys.
The Over’s in orange dominated a first half full of incident. John Williams opened the scoring with a powerful shot but the Maroon’s were soon struggling. A 3-1 lead at half-time. Not sure who got the Orange goals as I was otherwise engaged.

  • — – – – – – – – – –  – – – – – – – – – –
    With Sharon’s visit concluded Richards joined the maroon team in an effort to restore some balance. He scored a fine goal almost immediately but returned to the sidelines when Gavid Grimabaldeston turned up to play.
    This was a good game, with Tony Cravagan excelling. How well he reads the game. At 3-2 there was everything for both teams to play for.
  • Committed Cravagan

    David Partington’s trademark meandering dribbles were to the fore as he drove his Orange team forward. Ken Dean scored a fourth for ‘the Orangemen’ to put the game beyond doubt. Good to see Brian Stafford back with us and giving a good performance in goal.

    Partington – meandering dribbles
  • Hadge Cooper, solid all morning and ‘Chief’ Brodie now growing into the game were also worth of a mention.
    Bernard ‘the Bolt’ Roddie, never fails to impress and with John Williams created some good link play for the Maroon men. In Orange, ‘I told ’em Oldham, with Pete Jarvis up front were full of zest and they deserved to be on the winning team in the end. Just before which Tony Cravagan made a stunning penalty save to deny Peter Jarvis from the spot.
    Full Time Orange 4 : Maroon 2.
    I fully expect Trevor Brereton to fil in the detail from pitch one.
    Next week you will all be given leaflets regarding our planned ‘Sumer Festival (Stroke Tournament)’. Assuming I don’t have one in the meantime. Hopes are high. Maybe need to calm down a tad.
    Thank you. 🙂
  • – – – – – – – – – – –  – – – – –

Bibs 1 (White pen) : 2 Plains (Lancashire pen, Richards)
Numbers were well down at Denton today.  Blame the weather ? Yes of course but also holidays and illness got in the way but no matter.  We had a ball. Appropriately a  Mitre ‘Tempest’ as the wind squalled and the rain beat down on thirteen hardy Striders. 73 years to the day  after our Father’s might have been storming the beaches at Normandy we retain at least  a scintilla,  a spark of that pluck, steel and stoicism in the  face adversity. Bernard Roddy perhaps our only player on the planet on that fateful, decisive  day in 1944. How our world – and our country – has changed  since then, as we now face an invasion of our own – but I digress.

  • – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Alan Graham Referee’d  the main game.  David Gibbon’s had picked the teams and to the writer Richards they looked a little imbalanced.  He  was going to sit this one out with worrying  hip discomfort,  but took the field for the Plain’s as a “token presence” , and an “out ball”.
David Gibbons
  • Hot Roddy

    It fell to Gordon Nixon and Bill Lancaster  to form  the engine room for Plains, who had the bonus of Barry Smith between the sticks. Slick components all moving well.

  • – – – – – – – – – –
    The nimble Stewart White and powerful Jim Bemrose looked  threatening for Bibs . Behind them Tony Cravagan was the rock and Hadge Cooper & the aforementioned Gibbons the anchors for those men in yellow today.
  • Rock and Anchor (sounds like a pub)

    Alan ‘Chief’ Brodie navigated himself into  a few decent positions but Smith was the ace tormentor as time and time again in  a remarkable display of defiance he  blocked shot after shot with fists, feet and fingers. Bibs were going to need a bigger goal !

  • – – – – – – – – – –
    Bernard Roddy played a superb, unselfish pass across the edge of the ‘D’ to David Wilson but the right flanker could only hit the side netting. David had a definite off day today when nothing seemed to go his way.  Being the man he is this won’t deter him and he’ll come back stronger another day. At one point  David ‘could hardly see’ due to his specs in the wet, which can’t have helped.
    Three running offences from Bibs led to the opening goal. Awarded a penalty by Referee Graham, Bill Lancashire picked up the gauntlet – thrown down by Richards – and took to the challenge admirably.  It’s not easy to score a penalty with just one step. Bill managed it with aplomb.
  • – – – – – – – – –
    H:T  Bibs 0 : 1 Plains
  • – – – – – – – – –
    As the second half began the wind picked up even further but the indomitable spirit of this ‘bakers dozen’ saw rising levels of physicality. Bill Lancashire was warned as Referee Graham got an immediate grip on things. There was never any malice involved on anyone’s part – just put it down to over exuberance. Playing in tough conditions can bring out the toughness in players, who  were so well handled by experienced Referee Alan.
  • – – – – – – – – – – – –
    After some confusion around the edge of their ‘D’ the Plain’s conceded a penalty. Stewart White stepped up to slot the ball home for an equaliser. All to play for now.

    Four Amigos’ White: Wilson: Smith: Bemrose

    But Barry Smith continued to thwart the Bibs attackers. Bemrose will have wondered what he had to do to score today, having countless shots on goal.  Even defensive minded Hadge Cooper got in on the offensive act, with  a fierce drive that Smith  pushed around a post.

  • – – – – – – – – – – – –
  • Presented with  a good opportunity at the other end Alan Richards made no mistake sidefooting  firmly into the net,  the rising ball evading the outstretched arm of ‘Chief’ Brodie, now in goal for Bibs. Could Plains hold out for an unlikely victory?
    Not if it was anything to do with Stewart White,  once more emerging as the creative force for Bibs.  The score line would have been so different but for Barry Smith.
  • – – – – – – – – – – – – –

  • Plains retaliated surprisingly well though with good performances from Wenham and Roddy in  a roomy midfield which afforded both of them space to exploit. Bernard ‘the bolt’  Roddy, & Dave Wilson in particular found themselves with  a couple of glorious opportunities but couldn’t quite convert, Tony Cravagan saved well from Wilson.
  • – – – – – – – – –
    I’m not sure what happened next but A PENALTY !! to Bibs. What followed was something of a travesty for luckless Joe Bemrose  His spot kick evaded Smith but as David Wenham was stood just  a metre away from Joe it was ordered to be retaken.  Bemrose put his second spot kick well wide and a sheepish looking Wenham felt guilty for a millisecond or two but I’m sure the feeling soon past. David Wilson, fair minded as ever,  was  distraught at the injustice and critical of his teammates actions.
  • – – – – – – – – – – – –
    A few minutes later Bibs were presented with  yet another penalty after three running convictions for  the errant  Wilson ,  but Barry Smith SAVED  from Stewart White. The whistle went immediately afterwards and much to his surprise,  the ‘token presence’ had got the ‘winner’!  – which pleased him no end (he doesn’t get many these days tha’ knorrs) 🙂
    Thanks to Alan Graham for Refereeing – and in view of the low turn out thanks also for taking a reduced fee.
    Yes, we ran at a loss today but we can stand it now and again. Well done the intrepid’s.
  • – – – – – – – – – – –
    Again foregoing a fiver fee for the Buffet Fund, Richards  Referee’d the  ‘Lingerer’s  in  another tight game of 5 v 5. Stewart White finding  a way past Barry Smith twice in this game. Alan Brodie replying for the Plain shirts in what became another 2-1 win.  Alan Graham playing in this one and doing well on his return from holiday.
  • – – – – – – – – – – –
    We retired to the brew room for post match analysis and P.G. Tips – another morning well spent.  Our own little ‘D-Day’ – Damp but Determined. Well done all.
  • Standing: Richards / Gibbons / Bemrose / Wenham /Roddy /Wilson/ Cooper/ Nixon
  •     Kneeling: Smith / Cravagan /Lancashire / White / Brodie
  • – – – – – – – – – – – – – ___________________________ – – – – – – – – – –

Over 65’s May 30th 2017  – Plains 5 : 2 Bibs

Plains:  Bemrose, Smith R*, Dean, Cravagan, Williams

Bibs:  Brodie, Wilson, Lancashire, Jarvis, Roddy*

A Close Encounter of the Weird Kind

Bill Lancashire Reporting:

Anyone reading the above scoreline could be forgiven for thinking that this was a one-sided affair, but they would be wrong.  Despite a disparity in the goals-for column this was in fact a very closely contested and evenly fought game. The big difference  between the two teams was newcomer Joe Bemrose, who in the first five minutes fired in two excellent and unstoppable turf-skimmers that flew in inches inside the left hand post.  After that early excitement the game settled down as both teams tried to use their passing game to seize the initiative.  Despite all their pressure however, the bibs went further behind thanks to a well-taken goal by Plains’ Ken Dean.  But still the game ebbed and flowed and the Bibs eventually and deservedly pulled one back thanks to a sizzling Pete Jarvis shot.

— – – – – – –

Half time: Plains 3 – Bibs 1

  • – – – – – – –

During the half time break, both sides dabbled in the transfer market when Bernard Roddy and Roy Smith switched allegiances.  We are assured though that no fees were involved.After the break the game once again got underway with both sides prepared to outdo the other with neat passing movements.  Once again however, it was that man Bemrose who fired the Plains further ahead when he unleashed a fizzer that bent, twisted and turned like a radio-controlled Exocet on its way passed a bemused Lancashire in the Bibs goal.

– – – – – – –

4 – 1 and they thought it was all over.  But it wasn’t.  Once again the Bibs fought back and this time it was David Wilson who changed the scoreline for the Bibs.  Was the comeback on?  Well no, because with minutes remaining Ken Dean claimed his second and with his goal the Plains claimed a handsome win

Final score: 5 – 2 but it was much closer than the scoreline suggests.  Weird!

(I hope that I have got all the scorers correct, if not apologies to anyone concerned)

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TWENTY BRAVED THE RAIN , now and again…
Leaden skies and some persistent rain did not deter a score of Striders gathering in the gloom. The sun didn’t shine on the righteous but the rain abated, at least for a time.
The ‘Under’s’ with the addition of Colin Fielding played out a fine game under Referee Richards. The experimental ‘three running offences means a penalty’ was again upheld. The jury is out on this one but it was key to the result today.
Steve Wingrove put the bibs ahead in the first half from  a penalty incurred via the triple trot!
Peter Ward being the main culprit for Plains. But there were others guilty of a gallop.  Refereeing is not easy and it’s important to keep a balance.
Stewart White qualised with  a goal of some quality. With the teams deadlocked at half-time the second period saw less running .  Some skilful, fluid movement  from both teams.
Wingrove lashed in the winner for Bibs, the Glossop man  in a rich vein of form is headed off to the Emerald Isle for a break and his mazy runs will be missed, along with his willingness to ‘have a pop’
Full-time 2-1
The Lingerers numbered twelve. Again Referee’d by Richards.  Some fine attacking play from White and Bemrose, both of whom were on target for the Plains.  Peter Jarvis lashed one home before Wingrove scored from the spot after another ‘triple trot’ . This pulled the score back to 3 – 1 .  The Plains would not be outdone though and that man Jarvis was again on target.  Some impressive finishing today, let’s hope we can take that into the Rochdale Knockout Cup at the end of next week. Wingrove suffered an injury towards the end and went in goal for Bibs – hope he’s soon over it.
Full-time: Lingerers 4 : 1 Lingerers

I’m hoping Bill Lancashire will provide some details of The Overs match which I understand finished four-two.  Lots of goals today then. A score produced some great goals between them.

  • – – – – – – – – –
    When asked, most players expressed a wish to take part in a fundraiser for the Arena Bomb victims. Particularly poignant, as I handed out the remaining medals from Heywood to two of the ‘Amblers’ today – these were purchased from Paul Hett’s shop in Hyde.  Most of you will know Paul lost his Son Martyn in this appalling  atrocity.
  • ____________________________
    Ideas are at the embryo stage and  you’ll be kept abreast of what’s planned. It needs to be something that involves  some inconvenience or hardship for us walking footballers, or something unusual. I’ll have a chat with Mark Bradshaw when he comes back from America. Perhaps a session from dusk until dawn somewhere around the summer solstice’s shortest night on June 21st.  We could possibly invite others to take part. Watch this space. Feel free to suggest viable alternatives but keep the organisational workload to  a minimum please.
  • _______________________________
    Finally, no photo’s today. Giving the camera a wee rest for a week or two.
    Striders today : Brereton/ Bemrose / Gibbons / Smith R / Lancashire / Brodie / White / Wingrove / Lake/ Dean/ Cravagan / Williams / Wilson /Oakley / Ward / Johnson / Burrows / Roddy / Jarvis / Fielding / . 
    Unusually Messrs Partington and Nixon were both absent today. David is returning from holiday and Gordon is unwell, we heard.  Wish you back in rude health soon Mr.Chairman.
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Denton 23/5/17. Striders held one minute of silence for the victims of the Manchester Arena bomb,  twelve hours after the awful event had taken place.

Just a few details of this mornings games for the archives. On pitch 1 the under 65’s Bibs won 5-4, in a game that saw 4 penalties, 1 for an ingress into the “D” the others for running. On Pitch 2 the game finished 5-1. Twelve “lingerers” stayed for a game that saw Bibs beat Plains 3-1, with Wilson scoring a fine goal for Bibs. A “difficult” morning , but three games played in a good spirit, affirming, in a small way, ones faith in human nature – Trevor Brereton

(sounds like the ‘no running’ message is really sinking in – Ed.)

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Tuesday 16th May 2017


Stewart White reports…

 …Tameside Striders at King Street, Denton  – A steady downpour of rain didn’t dampen the spirits of 12 die-hard walking footballers assembled this morning for a 6v6 game.

– – – – – –
Bibs: Dave Gibbons, Rob Lake, Pete Jarvis, Alan ‘Chief’ Brodie
Trevor Brereton, David Wenham.
Plains: Alan Graham, David Partington, Gordon Nixon, Peter Ward,
Steve Wingrove, Stewart White.
– – – – – – –

Dave Gibbons started the match in goal for Plains and using his experience marshalled his defence extremely well. Rob Lake assisted in this venture using his signature step-overs to great effect.

Gibbons – experienced
David Wenham and Alan Brodie were working hard to provide openings for Trevor Brereton and Peter Jarvis but goals were hard to come by with both defences on top.
– – – – – – – –
Following the Plains opener from White, Bibs’ Peter Jarvis broke through to strike cleanly to give Plains’ Alan Graham no chance and level the score.
David Partington and Gordon Nixon were in no mood for their defence to be breached again and looked to play simple upfield passes at every opportunity. Peter Ward was always available on the flanks and Steve Wingrove worked tirelessly producing a goal in each half.
HT: Bibs 1
Plains 2
FT: Bibs 1 (Jarvis)
Plains3(White, Wingrove 2)
Everyone stayed for ‘The Lingerers’ session and with the addition of Dave Grimbledeston to the Plains’ ranks Alan Graham decided to rest from playing and referee the match.

Trevor Brereton back in his usual striking form scored twice for the Bibs

David G – nice shimmy
and in reply the Plains scored through Dave Grimbledeston (nice shimmy) and Steve Wingrove (twice).
– – – – – – – – – – –
Due to the weather and a lower turnout than normal the games were played in a slightly subdued manner but that didn’t stop some good football being played and a lot of enjoyment.
It was good to see  Alan Richards visiting  pitch side for a short time today.
Everyone wishes Alan a speedy recovery from his foot injury and also best wishes to his wife who is unwell at the moment.  (Thanks Stewart – Ed.).

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9th.May 2017  – Bibs 1 – Bibs 1
Nineteen, the average age of  a combat G.I. in the U.S.A. Army Vietnam. And as my Nanna used to say, I’ve been ‘in the wars today’. It’s all relative, of course. I thanked Harold Wilson more than once, for keeping us out of the S.E. Asian conflict. We all grew up into our adult years with Vietnam on the news every night. Hands up who knows what  the DMZ was?
– – – – – – – –
Anyway, I digress. That was the number of Striders to show up this morning for a game on the larger pitch. We were going for nine a side but a  late entrance from Keith Burrows made the numbers uneven. Faced with hasty pitch re-configuration or going for a 10 v. 9 we chose the latter.
Crowded King Street
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What  a good game it was, despite the lack of space afforded these eager walking footballers.. Helped by addition of a new, higher quality Mitre  ‘match ball’ which felt more substantial and has a certain texture to it. It was spread around the King Street pitch with some aplomb and not a little style by the bibbed up Striders. Some in Orange, some in a rather fetching shade of blue – with numbers. Steve Wingrove was especially pleased with his number 10 ! Appropriate for an inside-forward type. (old fashioned reference). Actually I’d have played Steve at 9 in his prime.
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Peter Ward – back after a holiday (was it Sorrento?)  and sporting very flashy Blue trainers – which matched his bib – put his team in front after a horrendous back pass let him in.  His unerring finish was a joy to behold.  This was all that separated the two teams for about forty minutes. Alan Graham, enforcing the rules was growing frustrated at the constant stoppages for running. With varied culprits it has to be said.
– – – – – – – – –
Barry Smith turned in a fine performance once more in the Orange goal. Tested by the willingness of Wingrove, White et al, to ‘have a pop’ at the slighted opportunity. Our White’s lemonade like fizz – the essence of effervescence – was again evident today. He’s a fine footballer. And would be a worthy addition to any walking football team on his day.
– – – – – – – – – –
With Cravagan ‘in nets’ for Blues both custodial roles were settled and stablilised. Tony is a good goalkeeper and may well have kept a clean sheet.
David Gibbons, in blue was dominant in defence for Blues it was difficult to fashion much in the way of chances.  The vocal Gibbons’s voice booming out commands like ‘HOLD’  and  ‘TURN’ across King Street.

David Gibbons

Richards took a ball almost full in the face, and then compounded matters by heading a stray lob. Silly boy.
In the second half Referee Graham implemented a ‘three strikes it’s a penalty’ formula and this did cut down the outright joggers. Not totally though and the blue team – the worst offenders on the day – eventually notched up three offences.  Steve Johnson purposefully strode up to claim the ball and the spot kick. Steve’s confidence was well placed. He gave Cravagan no chance with a crisp drive low into the corner of the goal. One apiece, and that’s the way it stayed. Not the most satisfactory way to salvage a game but the draw was an honourable, and fair result to this game. Given the numerical deficiency the Blue’s can be the happier with the  performance. Keith Burrows had a fine game for Blues today.  His vocals are encouraging and  appropriate.

Keith Burrows

We may well keep the ‘three strikes it’s a penalty’ rule going forward. I know of other groups who do this. Something needs to be done to slow people down – even more important when there are these numbers on one pitch.
Final Score Blues 1 : 1 Orange
Teams: Orange…Smith, Partington, Williams, Ainsworth, Johnson (1 pen), Brereton, Richards, Wilson, Fielding, Moore.
Blues…Cravagan , Burrows ,Gibbons , Lancaster,  White , Wingrove, Jarvis, Oldham ,Ward (1),

Who stayed on?
The Lingerers amounted to fourteen. Blue and Orange bibs were soon re-configured and Alan Graham acted as player/ref. Blues soon forged a three goal lead and I think it stayed that way. White was on target.  Graham followed up , finishing a good ‘across the ‘d’ ball from Richards. A Lancashire blast found Jarvis’s midriff – good job it wasn’t a few inches lower.  Bill has right bang on him when catches the ball just right.
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No harm done as two minutes later Jarvis steered the ball between the ‘keepers legs for a third. Ainsworth was the busier goalie but managed to keep  a couple more out. One from myself – bugger!  I have no idea how the game finished be honest.  I was shadowing Steve Wingrove when my foot seemed to catch in the matting somehow, accompanied by an audible ‘crack’.
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Disconcerting. I confess the sound was worse than the pain at the time and afterwards all seemed  relatively okay. A few hours later though I am sat with an ice pack across a sore left foot which is very tender to touch, around the top of the instep by my ankle. Tendon related I think. Walking and driving I seem okay with  at the moment. Just  as well, as a 400 mile journey beckons. Could have been worse, I guess. It never occurred to me to break out one of our ice-packs from the First Aid box.  Chump. Sorry if this report is a little over-personal.
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Yours truly is  having a break anyway, and will  be absent from King Street for a week, maybe more. In the meantime Stewart White has all the essentials. Graham Brown , our co-treasurer should be on hand in the office to take your subs and to pay our dues.





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Stewart White

Very grateful to Stewart White for filling in the detail from Pitch One and the Under 65’s (with exceptions).

Here is Stewart’s view……on the ‘unders’

“A calm, sunny day at King St. Denton provided the ideal setting for a very good game of 6v6 walking football.
Orange Team: Smith ,  Cooper,  Ivan,  Nixon,  White,  Moore*
Blue Team:   Gibbons,  Lake,  Johnston (1),  Jarvis,  Wingrove (3),  Wilson
Referee: Alan Graham (1)* Replaced David Moore at half-time
HT:  0-2
FT:  1-4
Steve Wingrove was the “Blues” main goal threat and he was ably assisted by Jarvis and Johnson.  Dave Gibbons organised at the back (as well as having a very useful spell in goal) and David Wilson was always a willing outlet on the flanks.
willing Wilson, with Wenham  in pursuit
– – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Barry Smith in the “Orange” goal was very busy and made some great saves as his team tried to build from the back with Cooper, Nixon and Ivan working well as a unit.  David Moore put in a very useful shift up to departing at half-time and referee Alan Graham donned an orange bib to replace him.
– – – – – – – – – – – –
A superb strike from Alan Graham put the “Oranges” on the scoresheet and provided some reward for good approach play by “Oranges” throughout the game.
Both teams played well and created chances with end-to-end play but the decisive factor was the “Blues” having more of a cutting-edge. “
(Many thanks Stewart – Ed.)
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And now, the ‘overs’….
Whites 1 (Lancashire)
Orange 1 (Partington)

Only limited recollections from this morning to be honest.
From my own point of view a forgettable game – apart from a flirtation with decapitation from  a fierce Lancashire drive – although the match had other  moments as the Over 65’s contested a close 1-1 draw. Goals from Partington (orange) and Lancashire (white)  kept things even. Some good play from both teams at times with Cravagan the defensive lynchpin for the Orange. Finishing was often very wayward and other  shots (Lancashire excepted) a little ‘powder puff’ or snatched, or scuffed wide.

– – – – – – – –
Time-wise the synchronicity seemed to slip  a little somehow, as Pitch one finished a full ten minutes ahead of pitch two. The second half was trimmed just  a little with honours even and satisfied.
Stewart White will hopefully  be reporting from the Under 65’s pitch where I understand the Blue bibs asserted themselves over orange to the tune of four goals to one. On leaving the ground I was informed of the important role David Wilson had played in that game – by all accounts a fine performance from the  keen committee man, who had volunteered to play with his younger counterparts. Pictured below.

Wilson – left
  • – – – – – – – – – – – —
    The ‘Lingerers – growing in number each week now, amounted to fourteen hardy Striders.  Bibs re-arranged and all in blue or orange the sun kissed three quarter length pitch was ideal for this further game for those Strider’s with energy to burn.  They were joined by David Grimbaldeston . One or two signs of agitation – maybe it was the ‘heat’ 🙂
  • – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    With Tony Cravagan spectating and yours truly opting for the camera Alan Graham refereed another close encounter and the game ended goalless despite several chances for each team.
    I was so busy peering through my lenses that I’ll let the photo’s tell the tale. A link should appear down under – speaking of which we again welcomed John Pell to the group with his friend Roy Smith.

    Smith and Pell

    A total of 23 Striders in all as the weather was at its warmest for quite some time.



(Buds of May)

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The under sixty-fives – with some exceptions

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Denton 25th April 2017 Under 65s

Bibs: Burrows, Jones, Ainsworth, White, Johnson

Plains: Wingrove, Smith, Nixon, Moore, Brereton

Cheer up Steve – you’ve just scored a hat-trick! The Ref looks pleased!


Ten Striders gathered this morning, neatly divided into two teams of five. Bibs welcomed back the irreplaceable Stewart White, after what was fortunately not a “career threatening injury”. Plains made the brighter start going close with a number of early attempts on goal. For plains Wingrove was twisting and turning , like a twisty-turny thing, while Brereton was ably supporting him, as plains looked for an early goal. A breakthrough soon followed as Wingrove fired home, to give plains a deserved lead. Smith in the plains goal was untroubled until Jones unleashed a powerful low shot, which Barry somehow managed to turn around the post. Plains dominance continued though, and the bibs defenced was breached four more times before half time Brereton scoring two and Wingrove completing a first half hat trick.

Half Time

Plains 5, (Wingrove 3, Brereton 2)

Bibs 0

Given the half-time scoreline, drastic measures were called for to re – dress the balance of the game. Therefore first half hat trick hero Wingrove was swapped for Steve Johnson. Plains were not fazed by the dramatic change in personnel, and continued to push forward in search of more goals..Burrows made fine saves from Brereton and Johnson as plains cranked up the pressure. Wingrove now with bibs looked to add to his tally, but found Strider Gordon rock solid in the plains defence. David Moore was having a fine game for plains, and after a fine piece of skill made it 6-0 for plains. Johnson notched their seventh after a cheeky interception, and Brereton made it 8-0 mins later. There was still time for some consolation for bibs, as the hard working Ainsworth set up Wingrove for his FOURTH, and White made it 8-2 with a trademark finish.A good friendly game with an unlikely scoreline. Many thanks to David Wilson for reffing this match.


Plains 8, Wingrove 3, Brereton 3 Moore, Johnson,

Bibs 2 Wingrove, White.

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THE LINGERERS – audio commentary from one too fagged out to play himself !

The second half of the first half – if that makes sense, the rest might too 🙂

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Second half  –  only the committed will listen to this (maybe they should be) – sounds like it was played in a hurricane at times…

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Over 65’s Bibs 3 (Fielding, Oldham, Richards)

Over 65’sPlains 4  (Lancashire 2, Jarvis 2)

Another good gathering at King Street and everybody was on time too.
Subs paid up, megaphone announcements accompanied the warm-up and  two of our committee members took charge of the simultaneous games. Two David’s , both looking the Partington in their Referee’s kit.

– – – – – – – – – – –
5 v. 5 on the Over 65’s work-out on pitch 2 for yours truly, henceforth referred to  as Richards.
Some good football and excellent passing from both teams. Bibs led by the inspiring Colin Fielding worked the ball inventively as David Wenham and   Alan ‘Chief’ Brodie linked up well, and  with Keith Oldham guarding the goal early doors all looked ship shape and Bristol fashion. Later though,  it all went  a bit Bristol’s up !

  • – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Plain’s custodian to start with was Tony Cravagan, and in front of him Hadge Cooper marshalled the defence while John Williams (in good form recently) and Peter Jarvis exploited any Bibs weakness, fuelled by  a shrewd Lancashire always on the lookout for a good opportunity to get forward.
  • – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Fielding fired the Bibs ahead making no mistake from the edge of the ‘D’. Soon afterwards Richards laid on a cracking pass for Oldham to double Bibs lead.  The Hyde man returned the compliment on the stroke of half-time and Richards  guided  the ball home past Hadge Cooper for what looked like an unassailable three nil lead.
  • – – – – – – – – – – –
    Their was a brief intermission. H-T 3:0
  • – – – – – – – – – – –
  • After which the chase was on….
  • If ever there was a classic film game of two halves then this was it.  A situation which  serves as  a reminder  to not always be ready to ‘gerrymander’ or re-configure  teams if one is falling behind.
    The same Plain’s  men that had let the first half slip soon set about a revival after the break. Bill Lancashire turned  predator and  looked lethal as he banged in a brace of quick-fire goals.  With Bibs aghast, and gawping at one another in open ‘jawed’ astonishment at this mother of all comebacks.  It was about to get worse. Much worse. Cup crushingly awful in fact.
  • – – – – – – – – – – —
  • Peter Jarvis finding his form and newly declared for the Rochdale Over 65’s knockout Cup slotted home an equaliser,  and moments later the same man added an unlikely fourth as the turnaround was complete.  Jarvis was  cruelly denied a hat trick when Wenham inexplicably pulled his shirt back as he advanced on goal. So uncharacteristic of our group, a group built upon Amity. However, no man is an island.
  • – – – – – – – – – – –
    Plains deserved their win and we can only assume Bibs ran out of steam.  With Alan ‘Chief’ Brodie landing on the deck  a couple of times and Oldham & Richards eclipsed in midfield by the wiles of Cravagan and Cooper . Fielding ended the final quarter of the game in goal and it was the lack of his outfield influence which may have affected the balance of play.  Handshakes all round at the end.
  • Splendid Refereeing by David Partington, although David Wenham’s un-necessary shirt-tug may have warranted a red card. I doubt we shall see that repeated anytime soon though.
    Brodie was among the group of lingerers and joined the great White , and ten others for another go at reeling in a win.
  • all’s well that ends well


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Tuesday April 18th 2017

The sun shone but there was a nip in the air at King Street as we welcomed newcomer Alan Brodie and John Pell, the latter on a temporary basis as he is from Australia, and a friend of Roy Smith’s.

John Pell – with long time pal Roy Smith
Warm up done we again divided into two camps. The age 65 being the dividing line.  With  a minority of under’s, David Partington, David Moore and Hadge Cooper drafted in to boost the younger mens numbers on pitch one.
Your truly decided to forego  a game himself to officiate in the Over 65’s match on pitch two.
Good to see ‘returners’ Ivan Taylor, and group Chairman Gordon Nixon back and looking refreshed after his extended stay in Malta. Gordon also joined the ‘under’s’ on pitch one, the Orange bib setting off his suntan  a treat.

Ivan Taylor – returnee

Both games were 5 v. 5 affairs. The ‘over’s’ played some good walking football with excellent passing moves every now and again. Certainly regularly enough to show we’re all improving. Bernard Roddy, displaying a lovely touch for our most senior of players (by some distance). Roy Smith and his long time pal John Pell linking up well as the years fell away.  Alan Brodie in plain shirt proved an excellent ‘walker’ and used the ball intelligently at times.

Bernard Roddy on the ball

Tony Cravagan in body hugging base layer pulled off a fabulous save , diving to the ground as a Roy Smith shot must have stung his midriff.  Cravagan, once liberated from goalkeeping duties put in a superb performance this morning. Reading the game and distributing to great effect – one attempt on goal going very close.


Despite Bibs attacking intentions Plains strike force of Ken Dean and John Williams had a purple patch. Dean lashed in the opener, and Williams followed up with two notable finishes. I think it was Wenham who reduced the arrears, but as my wrist mounted ‘Man from Uncle’ recording gizmo malfunctioned I may never know. Maybe a pen and paper would prove more reliable.

– – – – – – – – – – – –
The game ended 6-2 to the Plains. Goal-scorers uncredited might include Roy Smith or Keith Oldham who was always lively on the left for Bibs, and Bill Lancashire for Plains. Bill had a great game today and the stint he put in between the posts was marked by some excellent underarm distribution.

Bill Lancashire – not too shabby in goal – unlike the net he’s guarding

He also saved a penalty from Roy Smith, who found the one step rule downright inconvenient – never easy to get much power, and Bill blocked his shot with his legs.
No Bibs comeback materialised as Plains went on to assert their overall superiority.
Sorry I’m just not sure of all the scorers.  I know Ken Dean had  chances to add to his tally and  shot several times to no avail. Bernard Roddy – a strained thigh consigning him to goalkeeping duties saved brilliantly from Williams who was in mean, menacing mood. A promising debut for Brodie who grew into the game and did well.

John Williams sees one go wide – unlike two blistering efforts from him today

Both teams deserved credit for playing the game in  a great spirit – we have come to expect no less from the ‘overs’  Next time I hope to play myself !

– – – – – – – – – –
Bibs: Smith R, Roddy, Pell, Wenham, Oldham
Plains: Cravagan, Dean, Williams, Brodie, Lancashire
– – – –  – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
The ‘Lingerers’ loitered with intent deep into our second hour. They numbered fourteenafter being  joined by David  Grimbaldeston and myself.  They fought out a 7 v.7 half hour game to  a 3-1 conclusion. Tony Cravagan swelled the crowd to one. Jarvis was among the goals for Bibs, and Brereton hit a Plains equaliser before Nixon put Bibs back ahead. For the life of me I cannot remember who added the other goal which came close to the end after  a badly bungled Plains free kick – sorry guys. Too busy concentrating on my own game, although you’d never have guessed !  I must invest in  a little notepad before much longer if the technology is failing.. You’ll know who you were and feel free to fill me in.  Not literally.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Thanks to Alan Graham for his Refereeing today.  Hope the new men enjoyed themselves. It all happens again next week at the same time.
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THE UNDERS on Pitch 1 – by Trevor Brereton…..

Denton 18/4/17

Pitch 1 5 v 5

Bibs: Smith, Wilson, Moore, Nixon, Brereton

Plains: Partington, Wingrove, Jarvis, Taylor, Cooper.

After the Easter break, 10 egg-cited Striders gathered for a cracking encounter this morning. On paper the plains looked to have the stronger team, so bibs would have to be at their best. Early on possession was shared, and chances were few. For bibs Brereton had a couple of “sighters” just wide, and Smith, Striders No 1 keeper had little to trouble him. Midway through the first half Brereton broke the deadlock with a powerful drive that deceived Cooper. Plains looked for an equaliser, but found Nixon back from his holidays in commanding form. The only thing rusty about Gordon was his tan. When Bibs launched a counter attack, Moore found himself one on one with goalie Partington, and coolly slotted the ball home. After an infringement in the plains penalty area bibs were awarded a spot kick. Wilson coolly stepped up, and gave Ivan an easy save to make.😳

HT Bibs 2,
Plains 0

Plains were getting plenty of the ball now, but we’re unable to create clear cut chances. Wilson showed great tenacity in breaking up any plains threat, along with Nixon who doggedly kept the plains at bay. Wingrove was always a threat, but due to tight marking, and some unusually erratic shooting , was unable to find the net. Bibs went close when Brereton hit a post from a full 15 yards, and Smith now “playing out” shot narrowly wide. With time running out plains pulled a goal back, after a neat finish from Jarvis. Shortly after ref Alan Graham blew the final whistle, as bibs held on for a deserved victory. A win that was earned due to a solid defensive display, and taking their chances.

FT Bibs 2 Brereton, Moore

Plains 1Jarvis.

That’s all folks.




  • – – – – – – – –  – – – – – – – – –  – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

A BIT OF A MISH-MASH ! …how was it for you?

3 games at King Street – April 11th 2017

From  an organisational point of view today’s session at Denton seemed a little dis-jointed. A few players told me later that they had enjoyed the game’s so that’s all that matters.
Nineteen players turned up which meant David Partington was needed to Referee game 2 while Alan Richards took game 1.  Wingrove had  a penalty kick SAVED by David Gibbons – always difficult with just one step. I think it was 2-2 at half time but this was not a day for remembering scores and scorers.
– –  – – – – – – – –
The game had been a 4 v 4 during which Graham Oakley was injured , and though ‘walking wounded’ he undertook to Referee the second half, which became a 5 v. 5 after a rampant Trevor Brereton plus Hadge Cooper  were drafted in from the other pitch and Richards, less than rampant it has to be said,  was relieved of his Reffing duties took to the pitch to play.
Confused? You might be.
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On pitch two beforehand,  a big gulf in goals emerged  between the teams Hadge had picked. The main difference was Brereton,  who  had been scoring for fun – as he often does.

Brereton – scoring for fun

Partington had become a ‘playing Referee’ to redress the balance at Six-nil.  He had not brought a watch, nor whistle anyway, so Richards had been keeping time, both as a Referee and as a player and luckily had been carrying a spare whistle.  He does that  a lot these days.

– – – – – – – – – – – – –
Pitch one had been levelled at 2-2 at half-time but the non-bibs went on to win six two. I think.  Hadge Cooper scored a belter, and a spell of Richards in goal was enough to see two shots along the ground elude his despairing legs as they pressed home their advantage.
I don’t now what eventually happened on Pitch 2, but when we’d all shaken hands as a group as  some had taken their leave, a hardy ten lingered late into the morning.
David Wilson lingered

Joined by David Grimbaldeston –  a newcomer last week they seemed to be enjoying themselves, as I started packing up between chatting to Tony Cravagan , and taking a few action shots. I’ve no idea how it ended up .

– – – – – – – – – – –
When numbers hover around the twenty mark we WILL get mornings like this one.  On the cusp of two five or six a side games. Bear with us when it’s difficult. Any more than 9 v 9 is not really viable on the big pitch.

We COULD have had one game on the big pitch be keeping three substitutes and putting them on every six or seven minutes – good idea? Let me know via feedback.

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We wish Graham Oakley well and hope he’s not hobbling at home.
Major thank you’s to Tony Cravagan, David Wilson, Keith Oldham and Bill Lancashire for contributing to the website renewal costs. Generous Gentlemen all.
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Strider’s today were:  Cooper, Moore, Williams, Oldham, Wilson, Wingrove, Johnson , Lake, Smith B, Jones, Grimbaldeston, Ward, Lancashire, Cravagan, Wenham, Jarvis, Gibbons, Oakley, Partington and Richards ….see you next week.



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Trevor Brereton reporting from King Street 4/4/17

Denton 9 v 9.

Eighteen striders strode onto the Denton pitch this morning under cloudy skies.
Fortunately the rain held off, and teams were picked by David Partington. With a balance of mixed abilities on both teams we got underway. An early chance from Brereton was well saved by Barry Smith, who got down well to his right in the bibs goal. For the bibs Roddy was showing some nice touches, as was Roy Smith. Midway through the first half, and against the run of play, bids struck with a fine finish from a surprising source , who I know would rather remain anonymous 👤.
Chances were few and far between in a keenly contested first half, with still all to play for.

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Bibs 1 👤

Plains 0

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The plains pressed for an equaliser with White and Brereton being their main threat up front. Brereton was unlucky when after a fine pass from White his shot cannoned off the post. It’s true to say, there was a few niggly  challenges this morning, and ref Alan Graham pulled a number of players up for running. Wingrove’s speed making him a good bet for this weekend’s Grand National. Plains were getting plenty of free kicks within sight of the bibs goal, one of which, a rasper from Brereton struck Plains Partington on his already sore left buttock. Another free kick late on was well saved by Barry Smith. A decent game that at times lacked fluency, for a variety of reasons.

Full Time Bibs 1 👤 (The man with no name)

Plains 0

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In the second hour, twelve players stayed on to play out a 2-2 draw. At full time referee Alan Graham decided the winner should be decided by means of a penalty shoot out. (Good move Al – Ed.) I think I’m correct in saying 4 out 5 players scored for each team, so it came down to the goalies. With Partington and Smith scoring their first penalties against each other, Smiths second was saved , and Partington converted the winner.

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Derby day in Denton !
No Epsom fillies in fur coats  and no knickers but a visit from  a good , solid walking football outfit from Derby County Community Trust.
A superbly contested game where there was some good movement and passing on show .
A red letter day with esteemed visitors who have close  links to  a fine old football club, playing in their traditional colours of White and black, and a chance for us to don our new red and black striped shirts.  Shades of A.C.Milan.  Sadly the weather was most un-Milan like as rainclouds threatened to douse us all in the wet stuff.  Fortunately the worst of it held off.
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The opening minutes were dominated by Strider’s and shot after shot rained in on Peter Horn in the Derby goal, who was up to the task. Tested early he came through with flying colours.  Striders made regular personnel changes and this added some mobility, particularly in the first period.  Slowly Derby fought their way back into it and it was fully twenty five minutes before Strider’s breakthrough came from Trevor Brereton – on target once again.  Colin Fielding bursting through midfield to provide the pass our predator needed.
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The game was divided into three 20 minute periods. To be fair to Derby they had fewer players and no rolling substitutes. The pitch was also somewhat bigger than they are used to. Fair play to our visitors,  they made a very good fist of it. They looked like a beaten side however,  when White added a second after forty minutes. Brereton headed a low ball to Wilson who managed to control a difficult
ball and in the process  laid on a pass to White, right on the edge of the ‘D’ and he made no mistake from there.
Derby CCT
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As they game wore on towards the three quarter hour mark,  the Strider’s began to look just a little ragged. Needless cofusion around substitutions  disrupted their rhythm slightly and Fielding was forced to leave the field, with his troublesome calf injury flaring up again.  Wilson, opted out of the game too as the Rams raiders began to probe defensive weaknesses. Partington almost caught unawares by  a snap shot recovered brilliantly to parry  a shot away from the near post.
Still Derby came forward as Strider’s attackers took their foot off the gas.
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Just  as the video Camera ran out of gas the Derby strike force  struck. Number 12 Tony Ward shooting past Partington to give the men in white some hope. Followed minutes later by a Steve Shinner goal which would have knocked the stuffing out of lesser teams. Tameside are no Turkeys though,  and despite tiring legs there was to be no Derby winner.  In fact Strider’s could have well have emerged victorious near the end when White hit the post and a Trevor Brereton screamer flew just wide of the mark.
A fitting conclusion then to a genuinely friendly game of walking football. Superbly marshalled by Alan Graham, our Referee today.

Alan Graham
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Thanks to both sets of players for a good contest. We retired to the hut for sandwiches, tea and cake in the civilised English way. A day of historic significance for our country.
No inquest and no  third degree but ‘When Will We See You Again”? asked someone, and we replied ‘later in the year’ as we’d love to pay the Rams a return visit.
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Closing thanks to the few who turned up to watch. Mike Conroy, Jim Thompson and Tony Cravagan for filming most of the game.  And last but not least, Graham Brown for his assistance at our King Street home.
Went the day well ? – I should say so.
p.s. those shirts need numbers.
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Denton – March 28th : A score turned up. Several scored. If we put a score to the proceedings it might sound like the Everly Brother’s   “walk right back to me this minute, pass the ball to me don’t lose it I’m so knackered every day!” – especially this week !
Forgive me, I’ve been on the Scrumpy again.
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Under 65’s went 5-a-side and that game is reported upon by the witty Trevor Brereton – cub reporter with  a roving brief. Steady on Trev. Over 65’s on Pitch Two again had the senior stalwarts in  a game of two halves.  Contrasting fortunes with David Partington at first bibless, then bibbed.  In this company David can make the difference (even with  a sore buttock).

I was filming some of these games so I’ll see what develops. But I do remember Roy ‘Rapid’ Smith and Hadge Cooper scoring goals for bibs. David Wenham – arm outstretched in celebration even before he struck the ball. The  shot blocked by Bernard Roddy the frustration showed , calling the ‘keeper  a ‘merchant banker’. No need for that. Just a bit of fun ?
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Partington had bagged a brace for Plains early doors.  Cravagan also went very close – crashing a shot against the crossbar and he was having another very good game. Cooper was Bibs main resistance – he’s on  a good streak of form too in recent months. Brammer and Williams had their moments and Keith Oldham – ever reliable to use the ball well was backing up Partington and Cravagan.  Roddy – at first up front showed some nimble footwork and carved out a chance or two for himself.
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H:T Plains 3 Bibs 0
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At half time Partington switched sides. The Bibs forged their way back into it to make it 3-3 at the end.  Another good session on both pitches. Ten players stayed behind for a further half hour of walking football.  Alan Graham joined in – his first play since surgery. White scored a couple past Cravagan.  Brereton pulled one back.  One sublime goal by White left Cravagan groping thin air.   Richards stepped up to play too in this third game and bagged a decent goal off the outside of his foot. No toe-bung involved –  (I’d call it an exquisite finish  but you wouldn’t believe me)  This followed several efforts by White. Very mobile and shooting for England.  1-5 down at half time Alan Graham – in imposing black track suit –  switched sides and the Bibs began to claw their way back.  Wilson, relieved from Refereeing duties revelling in space on the flanks and combining well with Brereton and Richards.  Barry Smith showed resolute resistance and he and White combined to add another , taking the wind out of Bibs sails. It finished 6-4, I think. At the end Stewart White went down in a heap.  I had no idea who had  left it there, but after  a few minutes the mobile midfielder gathered himself to walk off unaided to the comfort of the brew room.
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Following discussions with  other Committee members this morning both face to face and by email,  Stewart  White has been co-opted onto the Strider’s Committee. Stewart’s commitment and drive, added to his undoubted enthusiasm , and being so local to Denton (he lives here)  means he will prove a great asset to the group.  At the very least, as a former Surveyor he should ensure our ‘D’s are the correct dimensions 🙂 !
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Trevor Brereton reports on the Over 50’s but Under 65’s !

28/3/17 Denton

Bibs. Plains

Gibbons. Wingrove
Ward. Oakley
Brereton. White
Lake. Smith
Burrows. Jones

Teams selected, we got underway in this under 65’s game this morning. Bibs made a promising start with Brereton forcing Smith into a couple of decent saves early on.

But soon after Wingrove struck for plains, with a finish as sharp as the crease in Pete Brammer’s grey slacks. Moments later plains increased their lead with a cheeky back heel from Jones. Seconds later, fresh from yesterday’s thunderous strike at Curzon, Keith Burrows struck for bibs. Plains were playing the more attractive, fluent football , and added 2 more goals before half time.

Half Time Plains 4
Bibs 1


Bibs, with a mountain to climb, succumbed to a fifth goal early in the second half.
Plains didn’t throw in the towel though, with the classy Lake, nippy Ward, and steady Gibbons striving to get their team back into the game. And it was Burrows the defender with an eye for a goal who reduced the Bibs arrears. The more mobile plains pushed forward again, but White for once couldn’t find the target. Soon enough plains did get a sixth goal, reward for a fine team performance. An enjoyable game, well refereed by David Wilson.


Bibs Burrows 2

Plains 6 Wingrove 2 Jones at least 2. And 2 more, no doubt cool finishes.

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March 21st.2017 – Wenham comes in from the cold….
It was long trousers and woolly hats for most as the biting wind, just in from the north sent clouds scudding by above allowing intermittent bright sunshine in the Dentonian sky.
Good to see Jim Thompson back again. Struggling a bit with his painful knee Jim turns out to watch at least some of the action almost every week!
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Twenty two men good and true lined up to warm up. Put through their paces by the ever active David Partington, who today joined the over 65’s on Pitch 2.
At this stage the writer needs to apologise, as I left Pitch One without a Referee. Having handed team selection over to Stewart White I focussed purely on playing myself. It won’t happen again, we should always have a Referee wherever possible.  Thanks to Bill Lancashire for his sterling performance Refereeing the Over 65’s.
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The Seniors put on a good game. Excellent passing.  Perhaps on paper the teams were slightly  unbalanced but this is always difficult. Wenham and Fielding had early chances for Bibs but Wilson, Williams and Smith B responded at the other end without really threatening Cravagan in goal.
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Plain’s goakeeper Brian Stafford was much busier. And giving another good account of himself in that position. Wenham, after some superb footwork  hit the frame of the goal on five minutes and it was Colin Feding who put his team ahead – deservedly so – a minute or two later.
Despite sterling defensive work from Hadge Cooper the Bibs went further ahead.  Alan Richards receiving a fine long ball across the deck from Partington and making no mistake with  a good finish.
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Bernard Roddy  had a chance to further increase the Bibs lead but could not quite get the ball out of his feet quickly enough.
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H:T 2-0
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David Wenham  warned me at half time that the teams were ‘one sided’ I thought briefly about this  but at 2 – 0 there was no chasm and no changes were made. Wenham set out almost single handedly to prove me wrong. In a devastating ten minute display he found the net FOUR times in  a superb spell. Confidence regained he played like a man possessed in the second half. Although I stand by the lack of  personnel  changes.  Sometimes  you just have to accept a heavy defeat.
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Not that Plains were without chances. Ken Dean, was their main threat. After good service from Barry Smith.  Dean must have rounded in on goal at least four tmes but to no avail today.  Hard Luck Ken. .  David Wilson also got into  a couple of good positions with  a good first touch at times but didn’t get the rub of the green today. David kept plugging away, as did his team mates John Williams, Brian Stafford  & Co  but the Plains never really looked like making much headway. Barry Smith let rip  a time or two but Colin Fielding was now looking comanding in goal and  was equal to anything the Plain’s could muster.
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Full Time:   Bibs 6 (Fielding, Richards, Wenham 4)
Plains 0
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Eight players (disappointing) stayed behind for another 30 minute game which ended 7 – 5 for Plains. I think the effort expended in the first 50 minutes, and  the cold wind put people off another game. Thanks to Tony Cravagan for taking a few photos of this one.

 Same day on Pitch 1 – Under 65’s…from Trevor Brereton

Trevor Brereton

Denton 21/3/17. Pitch 1 Under 65 s.

The youngsters gathered for a 5 v 5 game, in weather cold enough to worry a brass monkey. 🐵. With teams selected by none other than Stuart White, we got under way. There was little to choose between the sides in the early exchanges, until a quick fire hat trick by Brereton put the bibs in control. For the plains Johnson and Les were the main threat, but Rob Lake and Dave Moore were solid at the back for bibs. Bibs by now we’re playing “total football” , and went into the half time break with a 5 -1 lead. It was decided at half time that in order to make the teams more even bibs player Adrian would be exchanged for plains Pete Ward. Plains pulled an early goal back, but bibs were in no mood to relinquish their dominance. Dave Gibbons and Dominic for plains were being given a torrid time by the bibs attack as Moore and Ward added to bibs lead. Plains were having plenty of possession and pulled a goal back. Bibs contined with wave after wave of attacks and Brereton, it has to be said , racked up seven goals . Steve Johnson in the plains goal had an outstanding second half, making some exellent saves. The final score of 11-3 flattered the bibs somewhat as a game played in great spirit, came to a close.

FT. Bibs 11. Brereton 7. White 2 Moore 1 Ward 1

Plains 3 unknown 😤

Possession Bibs 56% Plains 44 %

March 14th. 2017 – when grey skies gave way to unremitting drizzle as ‘HOT RODDY’ bags a brace
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Twenty one today!
Plus a couple of reluctant Ref’s – both ended up playing.  The Under 65’s (with exceptions) on Pitch 1 .  A stamina sapping affair by all accounts. Teams selected by last week’s malcontents.
They conjured up  a 1-1 draw with  goals from Brereton and Partington.

On Pitch 2 another draw. Much busier in the goalscoring stakes with a hat-trick from Colin Fielding, more  goals from surprise package Bernard Roddy, Brian Stafford and Barry Smith.  If I’ve forgotten anyone I alopogise.
With the incessant drizzle now set in for the morning, the two games finished .  Nine interpids stayed behind with non-playing  Richards refereeing – in between packing up the growing amount of paraphernalia the Striders have now accumulated.

Barry Smith turned in another fine display of  goalkeeping agility.  Brereton scored again, in a bib this time – but he often does.  I can’t remember what happened next but the game finished three – one to the four man Bibs.  A good passing game. David Wilson enjoying his return and all pleased to see him back.
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March 8th. 2017-A highly successful trip over the Pennines for Tameside Striders.
A great team bonding exercise,  a tour of a fine old football stadium and two games of walking football inside a fabulous venue, played on  a carpet.

We arrived in plenty of time for our tour of Oakwell, and any football person would enjoy a close quarters look at Barnsley F.C.’s home. Across the road is the Academy Gym. Where we played our games against a Pals ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams.
Both matches were really enjoyable. The first won with  a Trevor Brereton goal.  We were the better team throughout and Garry Pearce was only rarely troubled, especially in the first game  We later concluded that the Pals had divided their best players equally between their two teams, giving their less competitively minded players a run out against different opposition.  The Striders set out a strong defensive formation from the start, and the strategy worked.Good, organised play from Nixon, Fielding and Cooper backed up by Eric Leach kept the home team relatively quiet.
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The second game saw much rattling of the framework of the unusually small goals. All these near misses coming from Strider’s Smith, Brereton and Richards. With Stewart White opening the scoring we had our noses in front when Garry Pearce made an excellent save lowdown to his right to prevent an equaliser. The game was marred by two fouls from the Pals No.3. The second of which saw him go through the back of Trevor Brereton

Trevor Brereton – scored a goal and later limped off
with no intention of winning the ball.  Trevor limped off the pitch after that unsavoury incident, made worse by the lack of any apology. Dangerous play totally out of character with what had happened thus far.
Strider’s – galvanised into action –  put the game to bed when Richards sent Leach away with an incisive pass and the man from Ashton fired home an accurate shot which left the Goalkeeper rooted.
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After the game we showered and changed before taking ourslves off to The Mount Pub , just  a short distance away to enjoy ‘pie and peas’ the Yorkshire way, courtesy of our hosts.
Thank You.
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We built bridges and laid foundations for friendship with ‘The Pals’ and we shall be inviting them over to this side of the Pennines later in the year.  We are told they will combine their better players  into  a more formidable outfit so we may have our work cut out next time. Thanks to their organiser Alan and  players, we shall see you again we hope.
All the games were filmed and these will slowly appear on various hosting sites as time allows. Links will appear here so keep in touch with the website.
Tameside Striders line-up at Barnsley Pals 8.3.17
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After last week’s session was lost to snow, Tameside’s  Striders must have been extra-eager to get back in walking football mode today as record numbers strode out on the 3g carpet at Denton Youth for our first extended two hour session.
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24 players plus two Referee’s and one spectator in the form of Jim Thompson.
By my reckoning that’s a record high turn-out. And on the day when the money went up too – we should give ourselves a pat on the back.
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Two simultaneous games , of fifty minute duration.  On the Over 65 pitch – Refereed by Secretary Richards the plain team walked out 3-2 winners.  A good game. Some excellent passing and of course some errors too.  Not too many from the Referee one would hope.
Everyone seemed to get  a fair share of the ball.  Some good goalkeeping from Messrs Cravagan and Smith (Barry).  New man , and Barry’s namesake Roy ran  a little but soon learnt not too.  He seemed to enjoy himself. Despite missing a penalty.  Roy donated £7 to the Curzon pitch board appeal on his first outing with us – well done and thanks.  Roy says he is also  a Referee, so he could be a big asset to our group in that regard, and as a player when he attunes himself to the pace of walking football.
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Good to see David Wenham back in the fold , some deft touches and he seemed to enjoy it too.  I think we all did. Lots of shots on and off target early doors  from Keith Oldham , and a goal from Bernard Roddy to open the account for bibs.  As for the other goalscorers they elude me for now. When I get my sound recording back from the lab I’ll have more of a clue.
>>>it’s back>>> Brian Stafford went close for Bibs but Cravagan turned his shot around a post. Bill Lancashire too, powered a drive just wide. John Williams, at the other end was denied by a post, followed by Wenham who did the same for Plains. Some splendid walking on view here today. Barry Smith  a particularly fine exponent of the ambulatory art. Roy Smith grabbed an equaliser on his debut. A fine goal from distance. Putting another effort just wide seconds later. Early into the second half Barry Smith put Bibs ahead. David Wenham equalised, powering a shot past Peter Brammer, who’s hand couldn’t stop the shot. John Williams had a potential winner disallowed for ingress. Keith Oldham hit the winner for Plain shirts two minutes from time – deserved reward for a livewire performance.
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On the other pitch – where Gordon Nixon our Chairman was ‘the man-in-the-middle’  it was 3-2 at half time and I got no complaints about team selection at the interval.  By the end of the game the score line had widened to 9-3 and there were rumblings of discontent from two of the vanquished. I will try harder next time, but in football – as in walking football you are sometimes going to be beaten. Sometimes soundly beaten.  After all the close encounters of recent months I’ll not be apologising for today’s team selection. Adrian Jones – an unknown quantity playing wise to me,  today confirmed his place in the group with his five pound signing on fee duly paid.  Trevor Brereton later told me Stewart White scored FIVE goals in this game.  Well done Stewart. We try to balance things up at the selection stage but in a mixed ability group you’re always going to have winners and losers. And some who perform better on any given day. Results matter, but are not important.
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At 11-10am when both games were wrapped up, a total of twelve players stayed for another game.  After a five minute ‘breather’ Richards and Nixon shared the Refereeing duties. Even the defiant Tony Cravagan in goal now for plains could not derail what became  the ‘Trevor Brereton show’ as our player of last year racked up goal after goal, ably assisted by  Steve’s, Wingrove & Johnson.  Again , other goalscorers have vacated my memory. Sorry. The match finished at 11-50am with ten minutes to spare.  There weren’t too many stayed after that for a brew – on the day we put  a box of  80 Typhoo Tea Bags into the kitchen.  At this rate they’ll last at least. Thanks to those who helped me put all the gear back in the van.
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Tomorrow nine Striders + Tony Cravagan (on the camera) travel to Barnsley to pit our ‘skills’ against the ‘Pals’ at Oakwell.
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Any thoughts on today’s extended session – moans, groans, suggestions etc. please use the ‘Your feedback’ page from the menu.
A good launch to our  first extra time Tuesday.  Thanks to Roy Smith, David Gibbons and Bill Lancashire for their incredible generosity on donating to the Curzon 3g board appeal – none of that particular trio ever play at Ashton so respect and again, profuse thanks. See the ‘Board Appeal’ page for how the fund has grown. The target has been shifted to one thousand pounds. If ALL pledges come in we’ll top that too.
No pics today  –  just too much to do, sorry.
Refereeing conclusions: I need to concentrate more and talk less.
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Pitch 2 Denton 21/2/17
The Over 65’s gathered on Pitch 2 under the eagle eye of David Wilson – bedecked in black and our Referee for the week – and next week as it happens. 6 v 5  contest as a darned inconvenient odd number presented itself for the second week on the trot.
Bibs lined up with six and proceeded to dominate with Dominic as we coped with huge D’s.
The goalkeepers areas seemed about twice their normal size – but as it was the same for both teams nobody seemed to care too much.
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Hadge Cooper had a superb game today, playing pure walking football.  Defending for the Plain shirts and doing every ounce of justice to the red and black striped shirt he was wearing with a white number eight. 
A reminder of Colin Bell in the 1969 F.A. Cup Final, of which the writer was an attendee and was himself wearing a Cup Final replica shirt – from 1956 when Roy Paul held the famous old trophy aloft. But I digress.
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David Moore performed heroics in goal in the early stages. Saving time and time again to thwart an energetic Bibs side making the most of the extra man.
Richards went in goal to replace Moore and was immediately tested by Dean and Ainsworth the twin Bib’s spearhead.  Brammer also ‘had a pop’ but the shot went harmlessly wide.
A goal was a while in coming but when it did come it was a beauty from John Williams. Brian Stafford got a hand to it but such was the power, the velocity and the unstoppability he only deflected the trajectory a tad, and in it went, the net satisfactorily bulging.  David Moore went very close as Plains pressed. Mobile group photographer Eve Richards capturing much of the action.
More neat footwork from Moore – rejuvenated in this company but his shot was blocked. Williams again had a chance but the pass which dropped at is feet was adjudged over head height.  It may have been, I commented to myself at the time – for a pygmy.
Bernard Roddy was a vital coggy in the Plain’s wheel.  Always available for the ‘out’ ball and ready to find his man most of the time. Remarkably,  Richards had been in goal for almost ten minutes and hadn’t  let one in yet!  I spoke too soon as Brian Stafford advancing like a slow train on goal blasted the ball past the hapless, former cinema-projectionist .
Tony Cravagan now in Bibs goal finger-tipped one over the bar from Hadge Cooper. Minimum backlift from the big man as he powered a volley goalward.
Great reflexes from Cravagan.
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The teams toiled towards half time. Brammer seeing much more of the ball in this company. Roddy set up Richards for A & E from  a free kick but as the whistle blew the teams made their way for a welcome drink of water as the Secretary adjusted the size of those D’s.
Eve mingled with the breathless, capturing tired faces for posterity.  Most were breathing hard by now and grabbed the chance of  a wee rest.
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H-T 1-1
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Teams adjusted for the second half.  Six in Plain shirts now and slowly, but surely things began to change.
Dominant Dom took off his bib to reveal a rather smart tracksuit top.
Brammer kicked off the second period. A half in which Cravagan, now playing in his  customary role to the right of the defence began to excel. Linking well with Ken Dean. Cravagan venturing forward and shooting just wide.
Cravagan , Stafford and Brammer pic: Eve Richards

Despite this, the six Plain men, re-vitalised with the presence of Ainsworth and marshalled by Cooper began to assert themselves but suffered a blow.  Bernard Roddy pulled a muscle and took to goalkeeping for the rest of the game. Williams, and Moore began to pepper the Bibs goal with shots and a good strike from Richards found the midriff of ‘keeper Oldham who gathered the ball well.

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Ainsworth struck on goal from  a free kick but it was saved, and at the other end Cravagan tested Roddy but the octogenarian was equal to it.
It was only  a matter of time before Plains went ahead. Midway through the second period in fact, before  a tight game began to slacken.

combatants ! pic:Eve Richards
But not before Brian Stafford went close, and Keith Oldham  tested Roddy to remind Plains they had much work to do to make their numbers count.
The work commenced, as Cooper and Ainsworth exchanged passes and a John Williams effort squirmed just wide of the Bibs post. A David Moore drive cannoned off the post and Cooper almost hit the target from long range.  At the other end Keith Oldham’s shot grazed the wrong side of a post and somehow the score remained 1-1.
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Not for much longer as John Williams – danger man today – fired past Peter Brammer to open up  a lead Plain’s play had just about deserved. Dean and Oldham tried to hit back. A neat one-two but Dean shot wide.
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Brammer denied Richards three times and was looking impressive between the sticks. He’ll look even better in new gloves next week !  Plains were making the extra man count but that man Brammer was defiant in ways we’ve not seen before. His defiance didn’t last much longer  though and as the whistle blew prematurely  – (the Referee on short time) but not David Moore gave the score line an emphatic sheen, which was a little bit flattering in the end.
We assembled for a photo finish and a good time was had by all. Thanks to Eve for the pics and being cone monitor.

Eve – cone monitor and Strider’s photographer-in-chief

On the other pitch a very rare 0-0 in  a five-a-side game (reported upon admirably below by Trevor Brereton) drew to  a conclusion and we adjourned for a brew and to wend our way home.

F:T Plains 4 (Williams 2, Moore, Ainsworth)

Bibs 1  (Stafford)

pic: Alan Richards
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Pitch 1 Denton 21/2/17
Once again the under 65 s gathered together, with new man Adrian, a welcome addition.With teams selected by Alan Richards, using a top secret highly complex scientific method ,we got under way. The way the game went in the opening minutes on this pancake Tuesday, it appeared the bibs were going to be battered, with the thin and crispy Stewart White orchestrating their best moves. New man Adrian Jones  was linking well with the reliable Wingrove and Oakley, but the bibs defence held firm. Chances were few and far between, both teams relying on long range efforts, few of which troubled the respective keepers.
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Half Time Bibs 0, Plains 0.
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From the start of the second half , the bibs improved their organisation, with the wily David Partington solid as always at the back. The pace of the game was increasing, with ref Alan Graham blowing for running offences a number of times. Indeed Wingrove’s “trotting “would have been more suitable for an equestrian event, looking more likely to win a rosette, than score a goal  ☺ Shots were raining in on both goals , a shot from Brereton well saved by Adrian Jones.

pic: Eve Richards
Possibly the only clear cut chance of the game fell to Chairman Gordon who, one on one with the ‘keeper hit a tame shot that was easily saved, proving he is no Aguero, but our saviour, Jesus at the back. With seconds ticking toward the final whistle Brereton unleashed a shot that was heading into the corner, only for White in goal to spoil the bibs party.
Both teams appeared to have the right ingredients, but the yoke was on them, with shooting that would have been more successful on a rugby pitch. However credit to both teams on resolute defending, and cancelling each other out.  ☺
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Full Time
Bibs 0
Plains 0
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(same score at half time)
Bibs Partington, Brereton,Johnson, Taylor,Nixon,
Plains Adrian, Wingrove,White, Smith,Graham.

No Valentine’s Day massacres – just  an enjoyable morning
Feb14th 2017
Hard to compete with my fellow reporter Trevor Brereton but I can only comment on matters on pitch 2 involving our ‘senior’ squad…or to be more accurate our  ‘squad of seniors’.
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What we had today was a really tough work out with lots of walking. No finer example of the perambulatory art than Barry Smith who has a distinct , walking gait. “Well walked” went the call as Barry busted a gut not to run. We could all take a leaf out of Barry’s book. Except Bernard. Mr.Roddy is another proponent of the stroll, or more accurately the saunter. Well balanced and with an eye for a pass.  He can’t always deliver but you just know what’s going on inside that football brain of his.
the teams – squad of seniors
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6 v. 5 and the Bibs were on top. Brian Stafford in goal for Plains displayed some Pearce like attributes.  Several show stopping saves. Brains older brother once kept goal for Curzon Ashton no less. Here his younger sibling, in his mid-sixties now was showing that shot-stopping is in the blood.
Brian Stafford – in the blood
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He couldn’t keep Bibs out completely though. As Dominic Ainsworth struck first.  A low, crisp drive that left Stafford just a few miles south of Stoke but all at sea. Barry Smith followed shortly afterwards, finding the target with a powerdrive , and at 0-2 the superior numbers of Bibs were taking their toll on a gallant Plains line-up that included a rejuvenated Tony Cravagan and  John Williams. It was a tough test.  David Moore commenting on the distances covered  in this open game where the ball was being stroked about with some skill.
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H:T 2:0 Bibs
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A new Ref! Gordon Nixon, our Chairman injured and unable to carry on on Pitch 1 replaced the ‘steely’ David Partington who grasped the chance to get some play time.
Hadge Cooper – solid enough  in the first half was a tactical change as he lined up with Plains to make the affair more balanced.  Hadge was ‘on it’ from the word go. Directing and orchestrating those in front of him.
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Alan Richards , enjoying the space and time around his peers found the net three times in short order. A succession of shots that left a hitherto untroubled Brian Lee with little chance. Great service  gratefully acknowledged  from Williams and Cravagan.  Williams in particular with some great ‘assists’ in modern football parlance.
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Roddy was a revelation in the second half.  Bernie made a bolt for goal four times but could not get the ball past Brian Lee. At the other end Brian Stafford took  a full powered shot from Barry Smith right in the kisser.  His concerned teammates gathered around him as he shrugged off the unfortunate incident. It WAS a major bang in the face  and Brian’s resilience  should not be understated. Hope no ill effects Brian. Great performance today.

Bibs goalscorers – Smith & Ainsworth
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Ainsworth and Moore were trying to feed Wilson, the wide man but little was now happening for Bibs as the adjustment in numbers was making all the difference. True, Wilson appeared  to be carrying a back injury and this was slowing him down. Bibs were now making little headway and Barry Smith carried their main threat.
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For Plain’s, Bernard Roddy eventually got his goal.  A great moment for him and everyone on the pitch , I think. The fact that he got a sublime second, just a few minutes later was the icing on the cake for Bernard. 5-2 now and Plains were cruising.  Moving forward with  aplomb Tony Cravagan saw his chance and fired a beauty past Lee to make it 6-2.  What  a game of two halves !
three amigos : six goals
Full Time  Bibs 2 : Plains 6
Thoroughly enjoyed by all I think. This format works well.
Thanks to Gordon Nixon and David Partington for sharing those essential Refereeing duties.

Denton 5 v 5 pitch 1, 14/2/2017

10 striders gathered together this Valentines day, all lovers of the beautiful game.
The teams looked equally matched, due to careful selection by Alan Richards. The plains started the better of the two teams, with Nixon being tested in the bibs goal, and making some good saves. For bibs the mighty Quinn was having a good game, but unable to break the deadlock. With the pace of the  game increasing,

Trevor Brereton – our ‘Accrington Pal’

and half time approaching Brereton latched on to a through ball , and finished leaving golden Gordon with no chance.

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Half Time Plains 1, Bibs 0

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The beginning of the second half saw Nixon exchanged for the steely Partington.  (‘Steely’ ? I like that – Ed.)
Possession was shared , but plains were exposed at the back on 3 occasions, however bibs could not take there chances, Johnson thawarting them on one occasion. Plains also had chances, with shots from White, Brereton and Wingrove going wide of the mark. With time running out Quinn made a fine save to keep bibs hopes alive. Plains hung on with Gibbons outstanding at the back for them. So after a high tempo, quality game the plains just edged it. Well done to all 10 players.

Pitch 1 – minus Gordon Nixon

Final score.
Romeo Plains 1

Juliet Bibs 0

Referee: Alan Graham

 Trevor Brereton reporting from King Street…

Denton 6 v 6, 7th Feb 2017

With 20 odd eager footballers turning up this morning, it was decided that the under 65’s  (with  a couple of exceptions) should play on one pitch. On paper the “kids” game looked evenly balanced. From the kick off the bibs looked formidable maintaining possession for the opening few minutes. The plains soaked up the pressure well, and the bibs couldn’t take advantage of their early dominance due to some Erratic finishing.

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    Against the run of play the plains opened the scoring with a fine strike from young Steve Wingrove. Plains added to their lead shortly after when the the prolific pocket rocket Stewart White added a fine 2nd goalBibs defence breached twice, the plains had the defensive partnership of Rob Lake and Henry Cooper on the ropes.Worse was to come when Brereton added a third, and baby faced assassin White got his 2nd. On the stroke of half time the hard working Steve Johnson added a fifth.
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    HT Plains 5 : Bibs 0
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The second half saw the bibs have plenty of possession,. With the game won the plains seemed to take their foot off the gas. The plains persevered, with Partington driving his team forward. Eventually plains got 2 well deserved goals from Dave Quinn to give the scoreline some respectability. Final score 5-2. Clearly the game was won in the first half with some clinical finishing, and some not so good goalkeeping. To be fair on the balance of play the scoreline flattered the plains.

FT Plains 5  (White 2, Wingrove, Johnson, Brereton)

Bibs 2      (Quinn 2)

The vanquished
The Victors

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Tuesday February 7th 2017
OVER 65’s on pitch one
Bright sunshine brought twenty two players out today.  Two new faces – welcome Brian Lee and Bernard Roddy. Twenty two became twenty one when Gordon Nixon changed into his Refereeing kit and gamely took up the challenge as we had to split to two simultaneous games.
Divisions were on age lines, with  a little tweak or two. Our own group  of Over 65’s figured in a five a side game of immense enjoyability. Players who occasionally  struggle to make much of an impression  going forward were revelling in a little more time  on the ball, and a chance to get close and shoot on goal.
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Brian Lee – a local man and new to the game is ‘a runner’ and said his fitness was at a good level, but walking football, being what it is, tested unused muscles and he had to go in goal after a muscle strain.  The other new man – Bernard Roddy by far our most senior player was a revelation to be honest. Neat touches and good passes from Bernard.  I had been concerned about his ability to ‘fit in’  I needn’t have been.
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Peter Jarvis who had a splendid morning (until it came to handling a camera)   scored two goals in rapid succession then saved a penalty!.  It looked like Bibs were going to run  away with the game. Plains solidified however.  Forcing a penalty themselves ,which was saved by Jarvis – now in goal – they reduced the arrears minutes later however when Tony Cravagan shot home from David Wilson’s corner. A rare goal for Cravagan and one we all enjoyed.
The Blurs. Pic: Pete Jarvis
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Richards  was in goal for Plains by this time and found it  a pleasure to stand back and watch these older men with time to express themselves on the ball. John Williams came so close to equalising several times with decent shots going just wide or high.   Wilson with more chances than he has had for a while was a real thorn in Bibs’ side on the right.  Bernard Roddy always competent on the ball.
Richards, riding his luck – blocked three efforts from Jarvis and Dean with his legs. Turned a Brian Lee drive around the post. Stafford went close but shot over the bar.
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Gordon Nixon , new to Refereeing really looked the part in new kit  and was very competent as our committee ‘man in the middle’. Great job Gordon.
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The Bibs

I think it was three-one at half time, with Ken Dean adding another to Jarvis’s  brace. Wilson had further reduced the arrears for Plains. I suffered a microphone malfunction within my voice recorder watch ! Soon sorted.
The second half was equally open.  Peter Brammer had his best game yet passing skilfully and hardly making an unforced error. Brian Stafford and Jarvis combined well for Bibs but Bernard Roddy got down low incredibly quickly, to scoop a shot wide of his posts.

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Jarvis – clearly ‘on fire’ today and enjoying the extra time on the ball scored two more  beauties, making it four in all to stretch the lead to 5 – 2. Plains looked beaten but continued to press forward with some really good movement and passing.  Wilson excelling himself, switching wings at just the right time. A competent Brian Lee now between the posts for Bibs.
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Cravagan was the driving force out of defence and finding his men with precision.  Richards bringing the ball from deep playing one-twos with Wilson and Cravagan and trying several pot-shots that were caught or parried by a very competent Brian Lee in goals.
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Wilson , confident and busy struck again with  a fine goal to make it 5-3.  Was there time for Plains to turn the game on its head? Unfortunately for Brian he took the ball out of his ‘D’.  Richards claimed the penalty and confidently place the ball on the spot only to hit the post.  The ball bounced harmlessly away and Bibs broke yet again but Cravagan intercepted brilliantly.  As seconds ticked away Roddy, Richards and Wilson combined to do their utmost to salvage the game and Cravagan slotted a fine ball through for Richards to finally power the ball (doesn’t do that often)  past Lee to make it 5-4.  A fine game…a game to remember.
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Top marks to John Williams, Dave Wilson,  Pete  Brammer, Tony Cravagan , Ken Dean and Peter Jarvis who all did really well today. To Brian Stafford back from injury and still finding his way into walking football. It won’t take him long on today’s showing.  Brian Lee forced, by injury  to go in goal but acquitting himself superbly.
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Bernard Roddy – into the ninth decade of his life was quite remarkable in the way he took to the game.  A game that was ideal for his debut with us.  I’ve been playing for almost twelve months now but I’ve seldom enjoyed a match as much as this one. More time, more chances and much more fun than the over populated pitches of some  recent weeks.
Full time:  The Bibs 5  The Blurred 4.
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Events  from Pitch Two will be reported upon later by Trevor Brereton. Apparently it was 5-0 for Plain’s at half-time!
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After both  games we had a really good , players ‘Winter’ meeting which took up far less time than expected.  all of the committee’s considered proposals were accepted almost without question by  the group who clearly  saw them  as logical, sensible and key to taking our sessions forward.
The full minutes will follow later – or tomorrow.  Thanks very much.

Rain from the start at King Street as another nine-a-side affair kicked off.
On the touchline , another new face.  Bernard hopes to join us next week. Fair  play to him that he stayed to watch all of the first half.

Bernard Roddy
Much of which was not a particularly pretty sight.
One  exception to that was the lively Barry Smith with three or four attempts on goal which varied in accuracy.  Some  passing pearls from Dean too as Ken was playing some really incisive balls forward to team mates who failed to capitalise.  Rob  Lake went closest.
Ivan Taylor made a welcome return after a few weeks away.  Assured early touches from Ivan who is always a cool customer in possession.  An asset to any defence and he played his part in ensuring Plain’s early bombardment was fruitless.
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Yes, Plains had been dominating the early exchanges with shots raining in on a succession of besieged goalkeepers but the men in yellow, largely due to the efforts of Nixon, Taylor and Williams had resisted the early onslaught.
Stewart White , again influential for his Plain team emerging as playmaker in chief after  a short stint between the posts.
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H:T 0-0
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Second half underway and the rain continued to fall from  a leaden Denton sky but the pace did not relent.  So many interruptions for running infringements,  it really was becoming  a needlessly stop start affair.  Remember this is WALKING FOOTBALL.  One or two usual suspects but by no means limited to regular offenders.  Perhaps the answer is a blue card and a few minutes on the touchline for three or more transgressions.
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Johnson and Brereton were trying to inspire Plains going forward but the lack of space on the pitch again made passing difficult.  We need to talk about this problem next week at our meeting.  Please bring your ideas with you, be assured your committee has several. There are changes afoot so don’t miss your chance to hear about them in detail .
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Barry Smith , in goal now for Bibs plucked a Richards’ head height shot out of the air with great aplomb and made two or three telling saves as Brereton , Jarvis and particularly Stewart White tested him.  One especially fine drive from White almost opened the scoring.
Steve Wingrove  ultra- mobile and often  a running culprit today  can never be accused of being shot shy ! Shooting sometimes erratic but today he put a first half attempt very narrowly wide, and it was down to the law of averages that he eventually  found the  target.  A ground hugging firecracker that left  the Bibs goalkeeper with no chance. Plain’s noses in front and they were determined to hold on until the end.
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In truth, Bibs were looking rather  punchless up front for most of the game.  The writer had a seven minute spell in goal and did not face one attack!  Partington must have sensed this and pushed forward himself in an effort to make a breakthrough as time began to run out. Bill Lancashire and Dominic Ainsworth assisted in the hunt for a goal but to little avail.  The Plain’s rather splendid back line of Gibbons, Cravagan  and Cooper held firm to see them through to  a another narrow victory with the slimmest of margins. Goals are hard to come by of late and the games are more realistic , and competitive for it.
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F:T  Bibs 0 : 1 Plains  (Wingrove)

As we gathered in sunshine it was touch and go whether two pitches were needed.
As nineteen walking footballers were warming up to the match of the Day theme the situation was assessed and adjudged.  Just too few for two games so a 10 v. 9 affair ensued on the larger pitch.
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Sadly , it didn’t stay that way for long as Brian Stafford – keeping goal for Plains – limped off after just a few minutes. A muscle strain,aggravated as he arrived at King Street proved too much for Brian to continue and he went home for  ‘a hot soak’ .  Take it easy Brian, don’t rush coming back from strains .  Brian donated his £2 match fee to the cause after he was  offered a refund .
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A sometimes frenetic game followed with little space to express oneself on the ball before someone moved in to close you down.
David Quinn tried to get Alan Richards away down the wing a couple of times but there was just too much weight on his passes.  When  Richards had an opportunity to return the compliment, he fell over ! At  a crucial moment too. Bruised pride and a mouthful of rubber crumb ensued for the less than sure footed midfielder.
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The more stylish players on either team were cancelling each other out.  It was left to the likes of Williams and Brammer to impress and stamp some individual ability onto matters.
Bill Lancashire, following on from  his good game last week started  superbly,  he’s growing in stature with every game now, is Bill.
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A flock of Seagulls were making that Gull type noise overhead (there MUST be a word for it) as Les Spencer went close. Les is a solid, uncompromising  unit on the pitch and not easy to dispossess or to get around. Again those Gulls were noisy – Tony Cravagan in surrealist  mood  perhaps, murmured something about a ‘trawler’ under his breath – memories  of Eric Cantona’s sardines entered my head. Leaving  me momentarily nonplussed.
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Barry Smith – another improver – often proved to be the out ball for Bibs.  Only game number three I think for Barry, and he is already  looking quite assured and threatening to advance on goal at regular intervals.
Gibbons was equally  good at the back in a bib. A commanding presence, vocal too, both guiding and re-assuring. Rob Lake -bibbed – was having his usual influence on midfield matters. It’s good to play with Rob as he continually looks to be creative with his passes, and knows when to release the ball to maximum effect. Those long legs come in handy when challenging for the ball too. Reminds me of Trevor Brereton too sometimes – speaking of whom GET WELL soon Trevor – a back injury kept him at home today.
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Plain shirts were relying on Partington to inspire and Gordon Nixon was also dominant. The old guard looking to Jarvis for his walking pace and creativity , and Wilson on the wing who was pulled for running on  a couple of occasions. He was by no means the only one.
Both teams were fairly toothless in attack, it has to be said. The variety of stand-in goalkeepers had little to do in the first half. How we wished we had specialist goalkeepers at both ends of the pitch. Unlikely to happen in our internal games, despite looking for  ‘keepers in various local social media groups we have drawn a blank. So far anyway, we have a ‘clean sheet’ of applicants.
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The teams turned around at 0 – 0
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Steve Wingrove, often impressing on  the ball  embarked upon several of his trademark mazy runs.  His shooting was wide of the mark today though,  at one point putting his laces through the ball it cleared the perimeter fence !  Notably retrieved by a willing Barry Smith.  Wingrove was ultra mobile all morning and probably covers more ground than any other player.
Gordon Nixon almost doubled the advantage with a shot that hit both posts before Les Spencer put the rebound into the side netting.
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At the other end David Moore and Richards were combining with the mobile David Quinn on the left flank, inter-passing neatly  and creating triangles but ultimately it got their team nowhere fast.
Plains hit back by forcing several corners on the right.  Wingrove instrumental in this and trying to master the short corner routine with Nixon. Proving how difficult it is to make corners count in this game in these height restricted days.
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Plains schemer Jarvis latched on to the ball in space but fired well over the cross bar, not quite threatening to escape the enclosed pitch but high enough, powerful enough to rattle the fence.
Five minutes from time Plains took the lead.

Bill Lancashire
A rare lapse from Lancashire, compounded when the ball came off him into his own goal. Unlucky.
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That such  a keenly contested game could be decided by an unfortuitous slip seemed unfair.
AS Bibs pressed for an equaliser Barry Smith fired in  a shot that just skimmed the side netting , perhaps the best Bib’s goal attempt at so far. The men in yellow were knocking on the door now and it wasn’t long before the equaliser came. It was as deserved as it was memorable.
Keith Oldham who has been going about his business quietly, saw his chance from ten yards and drilled in  a lovely low shot.  The ball hugging the ground as it sped goalward, evaded the ‘keeper and nestled nicely in the back of the net. Bravo Keith !
Keith Oldham

David Wilson was Refereeing the second half and doing well on his ‘debut’ in black and white (with an orange bib).  Alan Graham had assumed a defensive roll for Plains and was doing sterling work as a right half back, forging a good understanding with Tony Cravagan. On the other flank Hadge Cooper was keeping  Bibs – Oldham’s stunner aside’  under full control.
I think I’ve mentioned everyone. Some deserve extra recognition.  To David Wilson thank you Sir for the printing AND for the flexibility you showed today.  A more enthusiastic and gung-ho walking footballer I have yet to meet.  To Tony Cravagan – thank you for taking those yellow bibs home to wash..and for the bottle of milk the pair of these Gentlemen donated today, ensuring we had post match brews.
Finally to Alan Graham for his officiating in the first half , for giving the group  a Referee’s whistle and his good idea of giving David Wilson some experience with his. (whistle).
On returning home and ‘balancing the books’ for the day I seemed to be a fiver up!  I know I took signing-on fees from David Quinn and Bill Lancashire which are accounted for, but I cannot remember anyone else paying the required fiver. If you do – or it was you – please let me know. I’d rather be up than down though so no need to worry.
FULL TIME   Bibs 1 (Oldham 48)  :  1  Plains (Lancashire og. 44)

Today’s teams Jan 24th 2017
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News ‘from the other side’ match reporter  Trevor Brereton:

Denton 5 v 5 Jan 17th.2017

From the kick off the yellow bibs looked the livelier of the two teams, so it was no suprise when Steve Wingrove gave them a deserved lead with a powerful shot past the plains goalie.Bibs were dictating the game with the mobility of Oakley and Jarvis linking up well.In a rare foray forward for plains Partington was unlucky when a low shot came back off the post.
Plains equalised on the stroke of half time with a well taken goal from the in form Brereton.

  •  – – – – –
  • Second half underway, and the plains were much improved, creating chances for Brereton, who’s shooting was erratic ! The pace of the game was picking up now, and it was that man Wingrove, well suited to the small numbered game who fired bibs into a 2 -1 lead. Chances came and went at both ends. Plains were not finished yet, and parity was restored when the versatile Stewart White scored with a fine strike to make it Desmond 2 -2. And that’s how it ended, a good game, a fair result, and everybody cream crackered.

Bibs 2 ( Wingrove 2 )

Plains 2 ( Brereton White )

Brilliant – thank you Trevor

January 17th. 2017
OUR NUMBER’S UP….will it be permanent ? 
Not quite the key of the door for 21 Strider’s today but four separate teams locked in good natured walking football combat.
Once more our growing group threw down  challenges to those of us who manage the sessions.  Some quick thinking saw us once again divide the players onto two pitches.
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In an ideal world one of the committee would have stepped back to Referee one of the games.  We will be doing this in the future, rest assured. And hopefully, we will look the part too thanks to Alan Graham’s generous gift of Referee’s gear and one or two bits and pieces that are on order via ebay.  Appearances may be deceptive though so don’t expect us to be in Alan’s class as an adjudicator. With goodwill on all sides we’ll make sure walking football at Denton remains a pleasing experience.
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The game yours truly played in was a 6 v. 5 affair. Bibs raced to a three goal lead thanks largely to Brian Stafford with  a goal on his  debut, and two more from David Quinn on only his second appearance with us.

Barry Smith
Brian committed himself to the cause right away by paying his five pounds signing-on fee and two pound subs before he’d even kicked a ball ! Barry Smith, another relative newcomer has also signed on until August with his five pound payment.  Thank you Gentlemen.
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Plains fought back though with Bill Lancaster. pivotal on the pitch and playing perhaps his best game yet reduced the deficit.  Barry Smith hit the second, a shot too hot to handle for Les Spencer. That’s two games, two goals for Smith.
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Two-three down at half time, it was, for now finely poised.  Enquiring into events on the adjacent pitch revealed  another close contest, this time a one-one nailbiter.  With Alan Graham now refereeing ‘our’ game the Bibs set about dismantling the Plain’s resistance. Shots rained in on a procession of goalkeepers. Quinn was beginning to run  walk rampant and three second half goals added to his impressive tally.  Spencer was also threatening but placed a few attempts beyond the frame of the goal. Keith Oldham tried his hand too as Ainsworth, Richards, Moore, Brammer, Lancashire and Smith,  struggled to stay in the game.

David Quinn with Brian Stafford
David Quinn with Brian Stafford

They did manage one or two well worked attacks, forcing several corners but without really troubling Quinn, now taking a turn between the posts. In truth Plains were short on imagination.

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Lancashire always looked a cut above the rest today though,  and his efforts prevented a further drubbing.  Most of  the Plain’s tired a little towards the end but David Moore  retained his zest, although its direction was sometimes mis-directed. Ainsworth, Brammer & Richards struggled to make much of an impact as the gulf in terms of goals widened.
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I’m not sure who added the seventh but it underlined an emphatic victory with one player – on this showing the ‘mighty’ Quinn – making most of the difference. His tally of FIVE lexically appropriate.
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Next door, our neighbours battled to  a 2-2 stalemate that was anything but stale.  Looking at the faces each and every man jack  of ’em had a good workout.  The majority of the players on that pitch were seasoned regulars and that was no accident. We’re keen to keep the Strider’s internal games a mixed ability session though  so there will only  be LIMITED  channelling of more experienced players but it is a half-decent way of keeping everyone entertained with a sense of ‘contest’.
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 Thinking on the hoof this morning seemed to meet with approval. With these numbers we are currently a ‘work in progress’.  It is likely we may go to an extra hour in the near future and this will be under discussion tomorrow night (18th.) at our committee meeting.
The final  agenda  item is to set a date for a players meeting – this will most likely be after a Tuesday session  in  early February.
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Watch this space for news of an away trip to Barnsley Pals , and home friendly fixtures versus The Nash Amblers and Derby County Community Trust.  All  of these proposed games are subject to confirmation and  still  a good few weeks off so please be patient  and allow me to gather names of interested parties at both venues, and finalise arrangements.  I am throwing news of them out there to let Strider’s know plans are in hand to broaden horizons going forward…and don’t forget The People’s Cup ! (Squad 90% named.)
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We are having increased interest in ‘Competitive’ games from newcomers – some of whom aren’t quite  ready yet, some who are…like I said this is a ‘work in progress’. The key  (again)  being – PROGRESS .
Good session today, cheers.
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January 10th 2017
Strange but true. Well, in a world of  twisted logic it might be.
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Nothing twisted about the bumper turnout at Denton this morning. Twenty two walking footballers including new faces Barry Smith and David Quinn, and a newly committed Dominic Ainsworth bolstered the bourgeoning numbers to record levels. (Thank you for your signing on fee Sir).  Some quick thinking was required by yours truly and if I didn’t get it quite right I al-opogise.
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In truth there were no complaints.  I heard someone asked for a ‘rebate’ at the start. I’m not sure why or who. But if they can find better use for a couple of quid on  a Tuesday in Tameside they are invited to go and  look for it.  They may have been joking of course.
Two simultaneous games was the answer in my rather mithered mind . The committee agreed and helped set up the new arrangement.  One six-a-side , and on the adjacent hastily and newly configured pitch five-a-side with no referee for the first half.
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I personally played in the six a side match,  in yellow and the bibbed team raced away to  a lead with goals from Gordon Nixon, Steve Wingrove and David Wilson .  Partington started off in goal with a clean sheet, and when the rotation kicked in his influence in midfield was telling.
Trevor Brereton on the Plain team was finding space and having a few pot shots on goal but some were off target. One in particular force a fine parry from Rob Lake.
It could well have been Les Spencer who rifled in Plains opener past me. At half-time the score stood at 4-1.  Wingrove had added another – his shooting much improved today he was finding the target well, and looking for other options too. Rob Lake also instrumental in asserting Bib’s superiority.
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Proceedings on the other pitch saw a similar margin opening up for the Plain’s this time. A 5-2 lead here. Canavassing opinion nobody seemed to be too fussed about the nature of the ‘contest’ but a quick decision was needed.
After a  consultation with our Player/Manager it was agreed  Partington  himself should change pitches and join the Plains who were trailing. David is a canny player and I knew he’d make a difference.  His absence  was certainly felt   in our game as the Plains rallied and started to pull back the deficit.
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The Referee Alan Graham also changed pitches to give everyone the same amount of order and stewardship.
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Back on our pitch the  Plain’s resurgence began to take shape,Les Spencer had several efforts go wide, but he was getting closer each time. Barry Smith wasn’t shot shy either and from the  ‘high wide and handsome’  variety to start with, he found his range perfectly to test the goalkeeper and eventually opened his account on what  was a very good debut.  Wearing a ‘GAP’ sweatshirt  he was finding a few as Bibs struggled to find their first half fluency….a bit.
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Trevor Brereton was  also exploiting increased space . Our resident hot-shot had by now  honed his sites and banged in  a superb second half hat-trick.
Trevor’s second three goal blitz in less than 24 hours ! Remarkable. He should give his Player of the Year trophy an extra rub this afternoon.
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Plain’s  numerical advantage had helped them too of course but the 6 v. 5 numbers were levelled out when David Gibbons left early for a Dental appointment. Doesn’t happen in the Premier League! Hope it went well Mr.Gibbons, having avoided scrapes on the pitch your polished play opened up cavities in the Bibs back line. Big ones.
But all was not lost for Bibs  as the numbers evened up.
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Wingrove completed the second hat trick of the game with  a powefrul drive bang on target. Well deserved after his display today. He topped it off with a fine pass to the writer Richards, who made no mistake this time, firing in the sixth goal. Always good to get me name on the scoresheet !
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The final score reflected the numbers on the pitch. Bibs won by the odd goal in eleven.
Game 2 had seen a scoreless second half. Newcomers Quinn and Ainsworth seemed to have enjoyed themselves. Partington had steadied the ship for Plains and the consensus afterwards was the match was  ‘better for having a Referee’. If anyone wants to fill in the inevitable blanks here email me. and I will add more detail.
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We are a work in progress and victims (if that’s the right word) of our own success. We are clearly doing something right. In terms of numbers we will see how the rest of January goes. Going forward there will be options to accommodate our growing band. Perhaps booking the pitch for two hours. Perhaps introducing another day – Thursday.
‘We Can Work It Out’
I feel  a song coming on.  If only Trevor (or Steve)  had managed another goal I could have cross referenced to the Fab Four !
Fear not ! At this rate of growth  some of us might  end up playing eight days a week !



 Maroon’s 0 – Yellows 2   January 3rd.2017
It’s always good to see new faces at  our walking football. Today we welcomed Dominic Ainsworth , who seemed to  enjoy his ‘debut’ at Denton. Another newcomer Barry Smith whose presence doubled the ‘crowd’ figures , joining  Jim Thompson on the touchline.
Good to have you with us Gentlemen.
Dominic Ainsworth (left) with David Partington
Dominic Ainsworth (left) with David Partington

The teams were picked on the usual scientific basis using a formula best described as guesswork.  However, we never seem to stray too far from a decent contest and so it proved today.
Maroon and Yellow bibs (not sure where somebody  got ‘purple’ from ) and a keen game of cat and mouse saw the opening minutes deadlocked in midfield.
Yellow’s eventually broke the stalemate with Trevor Brereton taking advantage of a goalkeeping error. Trevor’s goal account is becoming an embarrassment to the rest of us who masquerade as ‘strikers’. If  it were in the form of cash he could probably settle a sizable chunk of the national debt.
Yellow’s threatened more.  With Wilson and Wingrove combining but the driving force was Graham Oakley who had a very good game today. Wilson did have one fierce shot tipped over by Partington – his agility had Wilson doubting his years and if he wasn’t so useful outfield  our player/manager would surely make a fine regular goalkeeper,
The slimmest of margins separated the teams at half-time.
Although Maroon’s made the best of what they had, ably marshalled by Partington (now outfield once more)  and Gibbons they threatened little in the way of penetration.
Yellow’s on the other hand had several cleverly crafted chances. Wilson found the side netting, Wingrove went just wide with a drive.  Fittingly, Graham Oakley doubled the advantage midway through the second half. Richards hit a post,and had a powerful shot  (yes,really) saved. Brereton again fired centimetres wide and Jarvis just misfired,  with another goalbound attempt. Keith Oldham was playing an uncustomary role in left midfield but was doing so admirably. Maroon’s tried to come up with a way of reducing the deficit but little was going right for them, or left to be honest. Hadge Cooper fired one in but it went over the bar.
Gordon Nixon was the Maroon’s likeliest threat , always vocal and mobile but Steve Johnson and Peter Ward, back after a dose of ‘Influenza’ got few chances on goal.

Peter Ward - back in the fold
Peter Ward – back in the fold
For Yellow’s the graceful Lake was a tireless font of quality distribution.  Steve Wingrove choose to shoot when a pass may have been more advantageous but nobody can fault his worth ethic. He is always involved.  Forging a way around the Maroon defence of Cooper , Williams and Partington was Wingrove’s strength today . Steve took  a blow to the face early doors but played on manfully.  Goals were  hard to come by as they have been in recent weeks and months. A sign that whatever the teams we select, the balance is always close.
New man Ainsworth showed several good touches as he settled into the game for Maroon’s.
Full time: Maroon’s 0 : Yellow’s 2  (Brereton, Oakley)  H:T 0:1  Attendance: 2
Referee: Alan Graham
Today’s teams:
Photo: Barry Smith
Photo: Barry Smith

Frosty wingers made moan….
Dec.20th.  Orange 1 : Blue 1
Midwinter chill and ashen grey skies greeted the fourteen striders who gathered for a pre-Christmas extravaganza of walking football.
Warm ups completed, teams selected the early play was littered with mis-placed passes but things soon began to change.
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Driving Oranges forward David Partington in  familiar black tights was getting a grip on the game. Early chances were spurned by David Wilson, Steve Wingrove and Alan Richards.
For Blue’s their main threat of Trevor Brereton, ably assisted by  Messrs: Wenham, Oldham and Moore who formed the thrust of their offensive play.  Cooper and Nixon manning their solid defensive line which Orange were finding a way through but lacked the penetration to finish the job.
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Rob Lake liberated from an early stint between the posts added more fluency to the Orange game and they continued to play the better football.
It was Blues however, who took advantage of a mistake to find Keith Oldham alone approaching the ‘D’ with only the goalkeeper (me) to beat.  Keith made no mistake and capped what was ultimately a fine performance with the opening goal.
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H:T Orange 0 : 1 Blues
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It was again Orange who pressed the most after the break.  Although  a counter attacking raid by Brereton saw the Strider’s ‘player of the year’ shoot wide.  David Moore was seeing lots of the ball. Fed by an instrumental Nixon  who was perhaps the Blues most consistent performer on the day. John Williams in  an orange bib was also solid in the opposing defence, having ensured a clean sheet during his spell in goal.

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Oranges came forward in waves and the inevitable equaliser came from Alan Richards who seized on a loose ball on the edge of the ‘D’ and hammered home from  a  tight angle.
This spurred on the Orange and they went looking for a winner. Fine saves from Oldham thwarted them, allied to some wayward shooting.
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The seconds ticked away as they always do. Fielding was coming into the game more in the closing stages . Driving his team mates forward, leading by example. Wingrove and Lake were ever busy too but the Blue line held and the result, in the end was a fair one.
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The game wrapped up what has been  a great year of walking football on the 3g at Denton Youth F.C.  I think we could happily have played for another ten or fifteen minutes.
The tea room banter focussed on shirts. Stars in stripes might be overstating matters a tad but if we get the chance of a new kit it will preferably be stripes, red or blue and black – assuming these are available.
Remember there is NO GAME NEXT WEEK. we re-convene at Denton on January 3rd. at 10-00am.
In the meantime I’d like to wish each and every one of our players a Merry Christmas and lots of walking football in 2017. To those recovering from injury Messrs Cravagan, Rothwell, Bridge, Thompson et al we remember especially so get fit soon and we’ll see you down here a.s.a.p.

as eighteen striders toil to an inconclusive result….
13th December 2016  Orange 1 – Blue 1
It was hard going.  Chances were few and far between.
David Wilson struck first. A fine shot going in off the underside of the crossbar.
Trevor Brereton levelled things up –  a typical Brereton strike. He’s doing it almost every game now ! There wasn’t much room on the pitch 9 v. 9 is surely the maximum number on that Denton 3g.  Passing was scrappy at times but at other times inspired !  Keith Oldham had a good game in goal for the Blues and kept them in it at one point. At the other end Wenham’s custodial stint was easy, but he did make one fine stop to prevent the Blues from pinching what would have been an undeserved win.  Honours were even as the seconds ticked away.
Another close result in a long run of close results.
Good to see our friend and erstwhile Goalkeeper Jim Thompson again attending.  He is awaiting knee treatment after he gets his scan results.
Well done everybody.  Sadly the team photo of blues is minus Gibbons and Brereton who were to the left of the picture.
Photo by: Jim Thompson
Orange team today – all of ’em 🙂


Orange 2 Blues 0 – Denton – Dateline December 6th. 2016
Not much of a report for this one as we have more or less the whole match on video.
This will take a couple of days to edit and sort.  A 9 v. 8 affair, with the deficient numbers in Orange playing the better football, especially first half. Goals from Steve Johnson and Trevor Brereton brought just reward. The second half was goal-less but not for the lack of effort.
Look out for the highlights – they might be worth watching.

What  a game at Denton today. I’ve long thought Eight-a-side a perfect number on that pitch and so it proved.
Tameside Striders internal games are almost always proper football matches. Never too many goals and very few runaway victories. Last week’s nil-nil WAS unusual though.
Everyone seemed to arrive looking cheery – might be something to do with the Government’s  cold weather bonuses that have been dropping through letterboxes.  Lots of over 60’s here after all.
£200 is not to be sneezed at –  and while we’re at it –  long live the triple lock 🙂
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Cold it certainly was, the pitch was white as we arrived. Good to see Graham Brown back from holiday (he may not agree)  and unlocking the premises for us invery timely fashion.
A low sun in a cloudless sky was playing havoc with visibilty at the southern end, Nicely balanced teams were selected and a keen contest ensued.
Maroons were playing the better football .  Some good attacking moves inspired from  a rock solid defence of Nixon and Cooper.  With a peak capped Cravagan inspiring confidence between the posts the Maroon team looked assured but lacked penetration as they kicked towards the sun.  Kicking the other way into shade Lake, in yellow along with fellow spearheads Johnson and Wilson failed to capitalise on an early chance or two.
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Players were penalised for running time and time again. Most of them wore Yellow as over eagerness going forward crept into their game.  A couple of non-intentional fouls were also penalised.  We are fortunate to have such  a Referee as Alan Graham who knows his stuff.
Maroons took  a deserved lead when a fine move involving Brereton, Richards and Spencer culminated in Spencer slotting home the opener.  A minute later, a  Richards toe-bung hit the post ! At the other end Lake’s shot went just a whisker wide and Wilson found the side netting, before profiting from  a maroon mix up and equalised.
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H:T 1-1
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Pivotal in his play, Gordon Nixon was proving a rock for Maroons, alongside Hadge Cooper the latter playing out from the back with decent distribution.  Cravagan too, was looking good, with his sixth sense of being in the right place at the right time.  The prize for that today though went to Trevor Brereton who put in a superb block whilst tracking back.  Alongside Stewart White, Trevor, was also having another good game, both players passing with precision.  Spencer and Richards have also forged a good understanding over recent weeks. Must be time to split them up ! David Moore had his moments on the right wing and tried to set up Brereton , the pass just failing to reach its intended target.
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For Yellow’s – who were now coming into the game much more, the mobile  Graham Oakley was always a threat. With Bill Lancashire and David Partington both solid and creative from the back the game was on  a knife edge when Oakley got in the way of a Spencer clearance and a ricochet saw it evade the goalkeeper.
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As Maroon’s pressed for a deserved equaliser Keith Oldham – in goal for Yellow – acquitted himself superbly.  Peter Brammer  after a quiet first half, was seeing  more of the ball in Yellow, but Maroon’s broke away twice and shots from Brereton and White testing Oldham who was up to the challenge.
The seconds ticked away and Yellow’s hung on to their slender lead. Well played all.
A fine game of walking football (once the Referee’s message had sunk in) . Blue cards soon perhaps ?
Full time Yellow’s 2 : 1 Maroon’s
Echoes from South America of the dreadful Munich disaster of almost 60 years ago with news of an air crash involving the football team Chapecoense. It’s the other side of the world but we can still signify our condolences here.  Young men snatched away in their prime, plus so many other passengers.
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Another bumper turnout at Denton this morning – or is this the new normal ?
Eighteen players selected into two teams.  “Look a bit dodgy these teams” said one individual. I was confident that they were fairly evenly matched. Thankfully, so it proved to be.
Maroons had the better of the early play but penetration was sadly lacking on both sides.
Very few shots on target all morning to be fair and a couple of  wayward pile-drivers rattled the fence early doors.
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Peter Jarvis went closest for Yellows.  A fierce toe poke just a foot or so outside the post.
The same man had a golden opportunity minutes later when presented with  a penalty kick but his effort was saved by the goalkeeper – to be honest I’ve no idea who that was !
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Half-Time 0 – 0
In the second half the patern continued.  Lots of errant passes , a few good ones but not too many accurate attempts on either goal.  Trevor Brereton looked likeliest to make a breakthrough but found the side netting. Les Spencer combined well in  a couple of attacking moves for Yellow’s but nothing came of them.
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Running off the ball was a problem today. True, quite a bit of it was penalised.  A problem growing in Walking Football generally, highlighted by David Wenham afterwards.
Players being closed down too quickly , with no time on the ball to express themselves. Fewer touches too when there are so many on the pitch.  I think it’s an inevitable consequence of the sessions popularity.  It’s a difficulty going forward for all of us. The critical number for two simultaneous games is twenty – and that would involve a committee man or two stepping out to referee.
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AND is it worth funding a Referee ten pounds  for just  one five a side game?  or do we offer each official £5 each?  Some consolation for missing out on a game at least.  Travelling expenses for instance… or do we expect  unpaid volunteers on  a regular basis?
All questions which need to be answered at some point. Not yet.
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The gloomy skies overhead  and the rain in the air did nothing to inspire we players today,  I don’t think either team would have scored if we’d played until midday ! Some you win, some you draw.
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In the brew room afterwards the idea of a training session (followed by  a shortened game) on Thursday’s was floated.  And sank fairly ignominiously it has to be said. Some (but not enough) suggested a 9-30am. start on Tuesdays to train  a little before deciding on numbers and format.   The status quo seems more desirable, at least for now. We don’t even know for sure that our pitch would be available on a weekly basis going forward.
Any players who wish to reconsider their stance on playing friendly games with others please email me at   If you initially opted out you can always opt back in.  For the time being Tameside Strider’s main focus outside our internal games will be on FRIENDLY fixtures – not competitions. Obviously if we get bigger numbers coming forward selection may have to be made  on merit.
In Yellow: Nixon, Jarvis, Fielding Brammer, Richards, Brereton, White, Spencer, Ward
In Maroon: Oldham, Oakley, Wilson , Wingrove, Cravagan, Wenham, Lancashire,Lake,Cooper
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November 15th… Yellow 1  Maroon 3
A classic game of two halves at Denton today.  A total of eighteen players but Alan Richards joined the Yellow’s with ten minutes gone – deciding that he’d taken enough photographs. Maroon’s had been well on top until then, making their extra man count.
Good to see John Williams back from holiday and looking well. Peter Ward too , back  in his winter gear after a couple of weeks away.

Numbers ever so slightly down on last week and no bad thing to be honest. David Partington had made his apologies – get well soon – and others such as Messrs: Gibbons and Lancashire were also absent for very good reasons. As we all know absence is understandable and is no problem whatsoever.  Turn up, pay to play and Bob’s your Toyota Uncle.
Jim Thompson was again on the touchline. His scan is due on his knee and we wish him well. David Bridge is another of our men under the scanner this very week.  Jim cast his vote for ‘Player of the Year’ while he was there.  If you haven’t cast yours yet you have until the end of the month. Either get an envelope from me, or email it in with your already registered email to

It’s becoming a two horse race with up to four names in the frame at the moment. I’m keeping schtum until December 15th. but back to today’s game
No goals after fifteen minutes.  Now the numericals had been evened up  it was nip and tuck. Until  a  Brereton shot took  a deflection of his team mate Peter Ward and left ‘keeper Cravagan with no chance.
Ken Dean then took up the custodial role between the posts. Ken is struggling with his Achilles tendon. Ken was replaced by yours truly and before I’d got my gloves on Trevor had doubled the Maroon lead. My stint in goal was short lived as Ken resumed for the rest of the game.
On the right flank for Yellow’s David Wilson and Peter Brammer were exchanging advice. One critical, the other suggesting a combination of sex and travel, but they soon sorted themselves out and normal relations were restored.
A third Maroon goal was not long in coming. Which had the Yellow team scratching their heads and struggling. Strong on paper they were heading for a hiding as  Brereton poked a pearler past Dean (cinematic reference)

Slowly, Yellow’s stopped the rot. Graham Oakley was outstanding. Cravagan too , exceptional positioning from this deceptively mobile defender.  Colin Fielding- how good to see him at Denton –  and regular stalwart Gordon Nixon were busy in defence and both Richards and Wingrove started to combine going forward but moves often broke down.

H:T  Maroons 3 : 0 Yellow
After the break Yellow’s began to dominate. The fluency of Maroons stuttered a little and Wilson , up front with Richards and Brammer,  and with Wingrove all over the pitch posed the bulk of the yellow threat. Countering the yellow peril  Les Spencer, who  is settling into games well now he has a few more under his belt was an outlet for Maroon’s. Team mate Stewart White is also proving a valuable additon to the Strider’s set-up.
Keith Oldham on the flank was ably assisted by Moore in maroon but the Yellow’s were dominating possession as time passed, and stringing some fluent moves together. Rob Lake , in goal for Maroon ‘s now pulled off a couple of great saves including one from Wingrove.
Wilson found the side netting too as a goal looked inevitable. It eventually came from Steve Wingrove and meant that at least the Yellow’s had won the second half.
Team selection was Richards’ best contribution of the day – apart from some deft ball control (if I do say so myself)  –  and it’s proving, up to now anyway, to provide close encounters of the best kind.  I ‘had a little help from my friend’ Alan Graham today. I must add that Alan Referee’d the game superbly. Not that there were any fouls I recall – just quite a lot of running.  Maroons did well to hold on to their lead but Yellow’s can congratulate themselves for staunching the flow , keeping their heads up, knuckling down and fighting back.
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Thanks to all for a good turnout, and  a fine game. To Tony Cravagan for taking the bibs home to wash. A few Movember snaps to follow soon plus one or two action photo’s. I’ve tried to include everyone here , ALopogies if I’ve missed you.
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“I have to agree with Alan, (below)today was very overcrowded,on a pitch the size we have at Denton 6/7 a side is perfect 8 ok but after that it does get crowded,we are thinking of playing two games if we get the numbers,we want to see the game grow so we are delighted as a group to see as many players turn up as possible,but today players had no time on the ball very little room,and I think this leads to players running trying to find space,I have also personally apologised for turning up later than 10 am. this morning although it could not be avoided,so please try to turn up at least 10 mins before we warm up,this will give us a chance to sort teams out if we get a big number of players” – David Partington, player-Manager
November 8th 2016
Another BIG turnout at Denton today.Bill Lancashire very thoughtfully sent his apologies. He’ll be back in  a fortnight.
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Whilst of course,  it’s good to see so many Strider’s turning up on Tuesday’s it does mean the pitch is getting crowded. A Minority of players are being marginalised in the game and we’re not getting enough time on the ball in my opinion. 10 v. 11 today in what is basically almost  just a half-sized regular football pitch. We don’t want our own success in attracting higher numbers to devalue the enjoyment factor. There may come a time when we have to halt recruitment. But not yet.
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You may not agree with me.  If not,  please say so in the panel below this report.
My own proposal is we START by marking out two pitches.  I’ll get there a little earlier than normal  (someone else too, please). A RIGID 10-10am. deadline for arriving AND playing. When numbers go over TWENTY  we should use the two pitches by playing across. If numbers are  below Twenty at Ten past ten past ten revert to the normal full length pitch but if over then   2 x 5  a side teams play on one pitch for 25 minutes – likewise on the other pitch. Two games simultaneously taking place.  Bibs worn by ONE team on each pitch (Yellow or white). It needn’t matter much if it’s up to SIX a side (up to 24 players). After  that one game on each pitch  a short two or three minute break then the two plain shirted teams switch pitches and play new opponents , again for 25 minutes.
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We can either use two referees – on  a paying basis Or Committee men and other players will Referee on  a rota system. A competent AND confident Referee is essential in my opinion.
I think this is the only way forward as numbers continue to rise. Again if you disagree then  submit your own proposal. In the New Year it’s possible that we may have to go to two sessions a week, OR book a pitch for two hours on a Tuesday and split atendance over the two hours. The latter idea could mean an increase in subs from the current £2 .
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Back to today’s game. Very well balanced team selection meant it was a close, tight affair.
Either that, or it was down to  pure luck. Good to see Colin Fielding at Denton.
Yellow Bibs only today and they were handed out to a fine bunch of walking footballers who set about their business efficiently. Taking the lead through Trevor Brereton, back at Denton after an injury to his back.  Partington in the yellow goal – in his distinctive bobble hat and his new padded shorts was again excelling the role as plains tried to equalise. Four attempts each one going closer than the one before from Keith Oldham, coming in from the left flank were to no avail.
Ingress into ‘D’ gave Plains a chance to level the game. Rob Lake stepped up but Partington was equal to him, diving low to his left to gather the ball. A great save.

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H:T  Yellow 1 : 0 Plains
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In the second half the eleven men in plain shirts began to move and pass the ball rather better but a defensive trio of McHale-Smith, Gibbons  and Cooper were keeping them at bay,  with a good goalkeeper behind them.
Another ingress, another penalty for Plains! This time Steve Wingrove took it upon himself to plant the ball firmly past a diving Partington’!  Whatever happened to ‘siz-pap-brick‘ (does anyone else remember that from the playground?)  One each !  All to play for.  It was frenetic at times with as many misplaced passes as those that found there intended target.  Surely the difficult part is judging the pace of a pass.  It’s easy to over-hit the ball so it escapes the ‘chasing’ player. Passing to feet is a better option but to day it was almost impossible at times to get the ball through  such  a ruck of opposition players.
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Lots of players were pulled up for running, as Referee Bridge quite rightly reminded us f the rules we ALL know.  There were plenty of stoppages for overhead height balls too. The game felt a little disjointed at times and stop start.  Again I think the number of height calls was down to lack of space and crowded numbers.
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A third penalty looked set to give Yellow’s a late victory but Alan Graham parried the ball out from Trevor Brereton’s firmly hit spot kick. Another fine save as Alan dived the right way.
Justice was served as two finely balanced teams shared the spoils and an honourable draw.
Let’s look at our situation going forward.  Some of the best games we’ve ever had at Denton this year have been 5 or 6 a side. This one, for it was enjoyable didn’t fit into the ‘one of the best category’.
Incidentally, most players were handed voting slips for the player of the year. If you haven’t had one yet see me (Alan) next time.  If you’ve had one please fill it in anonymously and hand it back in the next couple of weeks.
Some of our Mo’s are coming on well – look at the Brew room banter page soon.
Thank You.

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1/11/16 – (is it that time already?)
MEGA Turnout heralds the advent of November MOVEMBER
Almost eleven  a side but not quite.
On  a pitch where a mere dozen have played in the past TWENTY Strider’s lined up to face each other in blue and yellow bibs.
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New faces in the shape of Les Spencer , Ken Dean & Stewart White
Ken Dean
Ken Daan
– later joined by  Brian Brookes, and returner Peter Jarvis swelled our numbers, the latter celebrating his come-back after injury with  a well taken goal.
Blues looked better on the ball in the first half.  It was a little frenetic at times with little space. Any more than this number of us and we’ll need to spit into two games across the pitch – but that’s subject to discussion.  We might just as easily be back to  a dozen players next week – you never can tell.
Steve Johnson – incorrectly numbered number 5 in the eye catching blue bibs notched up the first for Blues. I see Steve as more of a wily number 8 myself. There were more chances but goalkeeper Dave Partington acquitted himself well, despite playing with  a ‘bad back’.
The goal at the other end was initially staffed by Brian Brookes, another new face, and a rather more youthful one than the rest. Brian is a mere 48 and as such won’t be able to join us on a regular basis. There are other openings around Tameside, but sadly we have to draw the line somewhere. See you in a couple of years Brian.
Brian Brookes
Brian Brookes

For Yellow’s,  Tony Cravagan continued his good run of form. Great positional sense and distribution.

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    H-T  Blues 1 : 0 Yellows
  • – – –
  • When the teams turned around Blues still had their noses in front.  There were few meaningful attacks for either side as the midfield area, as congested as it was, was the focus for no end of tussles, misplaced passes and over head height balls.  All ably marshalled by new Referee David Bridge.  Yellows did begin to break out more from defence with Cooper moving forward to support Brammer up front but made little impression.
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Cravagan now the custodian for Blues could do little to stop Jarvis doubling his teams lead. The shot squirmed between his legs and from then on there was only one winner.
Blues deserved it. I can’t mention everyone in this report there are simply too many names but a busy Bill Lancashire for yellows and Steve Wingrove for Blues deserve recognition for their efforts.  Everyone else stepped up to the plate and the effort was laudible. The newcomers settled in well. Stewart White looks an accomplished player, Les Spencer enthusiastic going forward & Ken Dean both saw a lot of the ball and may need a little time to adjust to the pace of it all – it’s not always as ‘urgent’ as this chaps. Well done anyway.
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BIG thanks to Tony Cravagan for arranging the MOVEMBER sponsorship forms – just seen mine and they are excellent Tony.  And to Dave Partington for trying to  arrange our Christmas ‘Presentation Party’ after the game. Please support this event if you can. Voting slips will be issued next week at Denton.
Good to see Jim Thompson at the game – keep turning up when you can Jim, and get fit soon.

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Some of us took  a more circuitous route to Poolfoot Farm than others.
No to worry though, all seven of us arrived in plenty of time at this really impressive venue in Thornton, near Fleetwood.
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Greeted by Kevin and Karl from ‘The Flyers’ we had a brew from the bar and then set about changing into our smart retro kit – think that great Derby County team of the late 60’s under the management of  Brian Clough.
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We were presented with a rather different format than that we’d been expecting. Not ONE fifty minute match but TWO half hour games against different opposition. We expected  a bit of a chasing during the first match with the Over fifties flyers and then faced a set of fresh – if slightly older – legs in the form of Over 60’s opponents. A tough prospect, and so it proved to be…..
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…We contained the Over 50’s for fifteen minutes. Despite  the absence of a goal threat from the Strider’s the defence was quite well marshalled for a time,  and our rear-guard action was enhanced by  a great performance from goalkeeper Garry Pearce , who made several superb saves. His agility and reflexes are really quite remarkable.
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H-T 0-0
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The second half saw the Flyer’s very much ascendant with three rapid fire goals emphasising their superiority. There was little Pearce could do to keep the red & white’s at bay for long as an under pressure defence buckled a bit and gave away ball after ball.
First game : Fleetwood Flyer’s Over 50’s 4 ~ Tameside Striders 0.
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Five minutes respite saw the Flyers over 60’s lined up against us. It must be the sea air but a couple of them looked rather youthful. No arguments though, the game kicked off and it soon became clear that our opponents had a significant edge in terms of passing ability.  Their highly mobile team were passing around us and through us and the goals began to rack up.
Strider’s got one back. An important strike given the circumstances from Frenchmanc ,  Jeremie Coulon.

goalscorer Coulon
For a brief spell we put a couple of decent attacks together but didn’t quite get the rub of the green as passes just failed to make their intended target.  (I should add what  a magnificent surface we played on).
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Of the outfield players perhaps Hadge Cooper distinguished himself the most but the rest of us were distinctly average on the day, and at times were played off the park, especially in  this second match. Average, at home is often good enough – on the road we may need to find a little more in the future if we are to make our mark on teams like these two. We do have several players who would have improved matters. The fact they weren’t there left those who gamely travelled to take part in the occasion offering their best on the day.
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‘Hadge’ Cooper
But what mattered most (to yours truly anyway) was the fact that we got a team there, had a couple of good, friendly games and gave a reasonable account of ourselves. Garry Pearce was outstanding in-between the posts. The results matter, but I cannot attach too much importance to them. I played with a foot injury that I forgot as soon as we kicked off so NO excuses.  None are needed from any of us. We are a bunch of older men – most of us well over sixty years of age –  still deriving enjoyment from playing walking football. We will have better days, but this one was a good start. If you disagree with this philosophy you might consider carefully whether you want to take part in similar ‘friendly’ matches in the future. We gained much, and lost little today. We’re on  a learning curve lads.
Man of the Match for Strider's - Garry Pearce
Man of the Match for Strider’s – Garry Pearce
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Six sweat soaked shirts nestling in  a bag  under our stairs attest to the effort we put in.
Well played to our opponents at Fleetwood Flyers, and thank you for the fixture, and your hospitality. 
Thanks to Gerald Brown for officiating – an excellent Referee, and to Janet Nixon for taking the photographs.
Our Referee Gerald Brown
Our Referee Gerald Brown
Janet & Gordon Nixon
Janet & Gordon Nixon
Tomorrow is another day – and I’ll have to work out the washing machine again !

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Fleetwood Max (5 run aground)
Yellow’s 1 – Maroon’s 3
Tuesday Oct.25th 2016
Fifteen players warmed up at Denton.  Those making the trip to Fleetwood (maximum we could manage was five ) next Sunday teamed up in an attempt to gel as a potent force.
The first fail of the day.
In Yellow bibs they huffed and puffed but couldn’t breach maroon defences more than just the once. A trademark low drive from Trevor Brereton.
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The opposition were in no mood to allow their coast bound colleagues to collect a good catch in Maroon nets.
Quite the contrary as they themselves went trawling for goals on the Autumn tide with  a bright sun fairly low in the sky.  Two strikes from a busy Wingrove, sporting a fledgling moustache for Movember. The other from David Partington – a superb finish to an elegant move.
It could have been more but for some good goalkeeping from John Williams. A quiet man who always turns up and always puts a shift in for his team.
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H:T 3:1
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And that’s how it stayed.  For all the attacking vigour on show nothing much came off for either team after the break. Hadge Cooper almost reduced Yellow’s arrears but his shot went just wide. With David Partington – now between the posts for Yellow’s – worth more than his weight in conkers, as he saved his new team from going even  further behind.
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Lancashire,Wilson & Richards were mounting attacks but to little avail.  For the Maroon’s Wingrove and Lake, as ever were adding fluidity and mobility. Moore and Cravagan moving up from the midfield in support. Ivan Taylor , as ever solid at the back and Nixon doing a similar job for Yellow’s with  a few more attacking flurries.
David Gibbons holding the midfield together for Maroon’s was as competent as ever.
Good to see Keith Oldham back too, and a new man – Stewart White their to register interest in signing-up.
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So, a defeat for the Fleetwood five and their gallant teammates. Let’s hope the addition of McHale-Smith and Garry Pearce can stiffen up the buoys resistance as they go fishing for  a win.
Maroons were not to be outdone. Fair and deserved winners in the end.  For a game self ‘policed’ with NO Referee everyone can hold their heads up high –  an absence of controversy or rancour. This is what it’s like to play with grown-ups.
F:T Maroon’s 3  :  1 Yellow’s
Footnote: With no Referee to pay again this week we have banked almost enough in  a fortnight (£18) to pay for some numbered bibs. Yorkshire made and rated highly. One set to come and perhaps a change of colour in the new year. Thanks to Gordon Nixon for taking today’s bibs home to launder.
More pics later.
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MELLOW YELLOWS edge past masterful Maroons… (18/10/16)
Fourteen regulars turned up to play today, plus Steve Rothwell and Jim Thompson, both injured came along to touch base and show their faces.  Get back soon Chaps but don’t do anything silly.
Intended  new signing Jeremie Coulon didn’t turn up.
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Teams chosen using scientific methods  – Albibra – colours decided upon and play commenced.  Referee David Partington – nursing a bad back showed up in the nick of time to blow his whistle.
Yellows were soon shot in front, thanks to dynamo midfielder Trevor Brereton.  His lights never seem to dim and he made no mistake.  There was some confusion after the Referee said he wasn’t within the shooting zone but investigations revealed there had been  a slight nick off David Gibbons, who most certainly was.
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The whole idea of a shooting zone and our green and yellow plant-pots was called into question later by committee men. For the second half we dispensed with them.  Shooting from anywhere – just like real life walking football will be trialled for a few weeks. At least the pots come in handy for collecting bibs and carrying stuff.
Rob Lake , alone in space and advancing on the heavily gloved Richards in goal outfoxed the former truck driver and slotted home a deserved equaliser.  Referee Partington – abandoning thoughts of neutrality was constantly in the Maroon’s ear and they were responding to his urgings.
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Pete Ward conceded a penalty though during his spell as ‘keeper.  He emerged from his ‘D’. Steve Wingrove held the ball and looked ready for another shot on goal but he handed it to Hadge Cooper. Who’s spot kick was saved by Ward thereby  redeeming his error. Well done Peter.
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H:T Maroon 1 – 1 Yellow
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The sun was low in the autumn sky and had been a problem for Yellows when attacking, but now they were of course kicking the other way. The game was a good one.  Close , as ever when the teams are well matched. The mobility of some players has improved no end.  Peter Brammer had a shot for the Maroons. Going forward for Yellow Brereton went close and Richards tried to slot one in by the far post but a remarkably relaxed Wenham – looking very cool and composed  in his flat cap –  saw the effort just clear the frame of the goal.
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David Moore on the left was doing his best to link up the forward play, getting some good service from Hadge Cooper, who passed well throughout.   Moore also did his bit defensively too.  Some excellent footwork from Williams and  Ward  aided  the Maroon cause. Their team mate David Gibbons was bossing the  maroon midfield.   It looked like the next goal might win it.  It came from Trevor Brereton once more. Thumping home what turned out to be the winner past a despairing Wenham.
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Moments later Peter Ward launched an excellent counter attack but his shot rattled the crossbar. Ever alert Gordon Nixon seized on the rebound but a cat like Cravagan was equal to it and he saved brilliantly, low down to his left.
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As Wingrove headed towards the maroon goal with  a clear route to a decisive finish the whistle went. Maroon leaning Referee Partington deciding enough was enough.  Just as well because at that very instant a fierce hailstone shower descended and attacked everyone with little frozen  balls.  Mine weren’t too bad as I’d been wearing shorts under long trousers.
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Thanks to Dave for Refereeing.  To Tony Cravagan for laundering last weeks bibs and donating a carrying case to the cause. To everyone who turned out for another decent game of walking football played in exactly the right spirit.
F:T  Maroon 1  (Lake)  : 2 Yellow  (Brereton, 2)
Attendance 2 : but both buggered off at half-time.
No pics. I didn’t set the camera correctly and Jim’s efforts drew a blank.
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Grey skies greeted fourteen Strider’s at Denton today.
Autumn had definitely kicked in as the two teams kicked off.
Selected by Messrs Partington and Richards initial doubts about comparative strengths were soon dispelled.
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This was a close, tense affair, with very few chances for either side.  Despite that some good football was much in evidence.
John Williams, improving with every game now threaded a couple of superb passes to teammates in White. A mobile, positionally astute  Cravagan impressing for the Orange.
Also in  Orange, Steve Johnson , back after  a break was instrumental in moving his team forward, the ever able Lake, coming from deep  helping in that regard too.
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Orange men were well organised – perhaps by chance – but each seemed to know what was expected, and what to do. Going forward though they lacked penetration.
White’s struggled to create chances too. A lack of guile around the ‘D’  from both teams meant for much of the first half the goalkeeper’s were mere spectators.
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That changed though when Brereton broke completely clear for White’s  and  lashed the ball past a despairing Richards to put his team in front. This was soon followed by  a second goal for White’s with Wingrove on target to double their advantage. Suddenly the game had changed, yet the neutral may have scratched their heads in puzzlement.
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H:T  White’s 2  :  0  Orange’s
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Both teams were still mired in midfield.  Orange attempts to break clear with attacking purpose were proving  fruitless.
With the clock running down it looked like a set piece might be the their best chance.  So it proved when Lake struck  a fine shot from Nixon’s neat corner but  Wingrove rose to the task in the White goal  with  a great save.  An easier catch from a  Richards shot followed soon afterwards and Wingrove was by far the busiest goalkeeper for his team as Oranges tried to salvage something from the game.
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Orangemen knocking on the door but resisted well by White’s who themselves looked to increase their lead and put the game to bed.
Brereton broke clear after  a mix up and walked menacingly, advancing on goal.  Oranges feared the worst but Trevor shot wide as  ‘Keeper Cravagan narrowed his options and the second half remained goalless.
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A very intricate game which ebbed and flowed in the middle of the full pitch at Martin’s field, but with little goalmouth action to speak of.  Enjoyed by all.  Shame there were no scouts or cubs to witness the action.
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Bombshell news after the game  as Trevor Brereton revealed he is checking out Vintage Celtic , joining Mike McHale-Smith at their sessions in the coming days and the Cheshire F.A. League at Northwich.
Good Luck to Trevor, he is of a standard that requires more competition.  It’s becoming clearer that few of the Strider’s want to broaden horizons at the moment.  We can live with that fact.
We will re-assess after our Fleetwood friendly and see what transpires from there.
The Nash Amblers crossover effect gives those that do want to play versus others a chance to do so.
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Sooner or later we may each  need to nail colours firmly to one mast or the other, but for now the good ship walking football is navigating a steady, good natured course. With all tastes catered for locally.  Long may it continue.

Thanks to all for a very good game played in the right spirit today – and for Alan Graham for Refereeing .

Full Time: 2-0

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Trevor Brereton reporting …


4th October 2016….  it was a fine and breezy Denton that saw a game of two half’s this morning.
On paper it appeared the 7 whites had a stronger side than the 7 oranges- and so it proved, as even with a penalty miss they took a handsome 4-0 lead into half time. The 2nd half saw white titans Dave Partington and Steve Wingrove don Orange bibs as John Williams and Keith Oldham wore white. A nail biting 2nd half ensued as the orange men dominated, and scored 3 goals. The White’s defence held firm and denied the Orange men a late equaliser. I thought it was 3-3 but ref Alan Graham said otherwise, and you can’t argue with the referee. After the game Steve Wingrove, celebrating his birthday today kindly
shared chocolates with the lads….
…And everyone lived happily ever after
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September 27th. 2016  Orange 2  White 3
White supremacy kicked in in at Martin’s Fields , Denton today. Nothing nasty – in fact there were smiles galore.  The Orange opposition were never downtrodden and were in the game right until the end. On a different day it could have been er …different.
Some good football was played this morning.  White’s edged the possession statistics.  Wingrove saw much of the ball, as did Lake for the Orange but these two were not the only influential players on the show today.
Trevor Brereton and Tony Cravagan were exceptional for the White team.  Trevor with his customary energy and effective distribution with  a tendency to drive his team forward. The craggy Cravagan , positional nouse par excellence and his defensive instincts shone through today. Tony is looking increasingly comfortable on the ball.
Brereton & Cravagan - on top today
Brereton & Cravagan – on top today

John Williams for the Orange, is another effective player making valuable contributions and seldom giving the ball away. Gordon Nixon , back from holiday looked like he’d never been away – only the tell tale sun tan betrayed his Majorcan excursion.

Bill Lancashire –  a newcomer , looked like he’d been playing walking football for months and fired in the opening goal on his ‘debut’. A moment to savour for Bill – like you’ve never been away from the game !
Bill Lancashire - fine debut
Bill Lancashire – fine debut

White’s went looking for a leveller and it came from Steve Wingrove, after several attempts. Hammering home from just outside the ‘D’.

H:T 1-1
The second half saw Brereton in an advanced position and he made no mistake with his fiercely hit shot. McHale-Smith & Richards were urging their team on too but forays deep into Orange territory amounted to nothing for the pair.
Peter Brammer played Wilson through with  a delightful pass but the winger spurned the chance.  He made up for it shortly afterwards though with  a cleanly hit drive that nestled in the back of a refurbished net, leaving Dave Gibbons with little chance.
Gibbons, aided by David Moore  helped spark  a comeback when he returned to the outfield. David Wenham , playing very well today pulled a goal back with aplomb. Arms outstretched he wheeled away in celebration.
Wenham outfoxes Richards
Wenham outfoxes Richards

An equaliser looked likely but Gibbons’ shot cleared the crossbar by mere inches.
The mood flagged up by White’s was anything but surrender and they finished the game on the front foot.  A fair result that reflected the play – two closely matched sides and a hugely enjoyable game for all, I think.
Thanks to all the players, and Alan Graham for refereeing.  Hadge Cooper for taking a few photographs.
F:T   Orange 2   :    3   White

Mike McHale-Smith
Mike McHale-Smith
Half-time smiles Wilson, Cravagan & Brereton
Half-time smiles Wilson, Cravagan & Brereton
John Williams enjoys a half time drink
John Williams enjoys a half time drink
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David Moore and Rob Lake
David Moore and Rob Lake
Well played Referee
Well played Referee
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WARD HITS A HAT-TRICK !  20th September 2016
Peter Ward - his hat-trick won it for 'The Orange' today
Peter Ward – his hat-trick won it for ‘The Orange’ today
With injuries mounting and the holiday season still in full swing for us older people there was a predictable drop in numbers at Denton today. Nevertheless we had a very enjoyable game of five-a-side, Refereed in the end by Hadge Cooper – himself suffering from a pulled calf muscle. Our regular Referee Alan Graham displayed commendable flexibility and took to the field as a player, instead. A spectator, Peter Wilson joined in to give White bibs numerical advantage. I hope we see Peter again. Namesake David Wilson netted first for ‘the Orange’ cancelled out by David Wenham soon afterwards. Pete Ward netted a rapid brace with the aid of some creative passing from David Partington and Trevor Brereton.
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3-1 at Half-time the White’s rallied through Rob Lake. The skilful Lake fashioned a couple of chances for himself and made no mistake finishing them off. John Williams was dependable at the back for White’s and Alan Graham, with surprisingly quick feet for a big man was keeping them moving forward. It could have gone either way really. Tony Cravagan revealed excellent goalkeeping talents with a couple of fine stops. Peter Wilson almost marked a promising debut with a goal. The game really was on a knife edge when Peter Ward fastened on to an incisive pass from Alan Richards and found the back of the net for a superb hat-trick. Well done Peter.
F:T Whites 3 Wenham. Lake 2.
Orange 4 Wilson, Ward 3, Attendance: zero-
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September 13th. 2016
The last knockings of a mixed Summer season meant the latest game in the Strider’s saga unfolded in heat. As players laboured and toiled under a hot sun, the sweat quotient fair doubled the weight of their maroon and white bibs ! Well, that’s the unpleasant bit outof the way ! I find the fairer sex are often turned off by the thought of sweat. For me it’s a product of honest graft , and I’ve never had a problem with it so  long as it’s fresh sweat. Stale sweat is something else, as was today’s clash on the 3G at Martin Fields, Denton.
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Thirteen Strider’s gathered.  Including new man Peter Brammmer.  Dressed more for a trip around the shops , he made a promising debut coming into the game the longer it went on.  Maybe some looser bottoms,or shorts,  a pair of trainers or pimple souled shoes and an old football or tee shirt next time Peter. NO football boots !  We all hope there is a next time for you.  As we are living proof , Walking Football gets better, and better.
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Teams selected, Peter was allotted to the Maroon Six , which gave them  a one man advantage over the men in white. Jim Thompson – on the touchline with the camera today.  Referee Allan Graham got proceedings underway.
The game, as they so often do flowed from end to end. A series of well placed passes would be marred by a wayward one, or a failure of control would give the ball away to the opponents, who would promptly do the same, or similar. All of this adds to the fun,  and the unpredictability of it all is half the game’s charm.
Steve Johnson - goalscorer
Steve Johnson – goalscorer

But the football was winning.  I’ve noticed lately that passing is much improved on the whole.
Today’s highlight in a low scoring game was the quality of two of the goals.  Steve Johnson struck first for White’s. A crisply hit drive which left Maroon’s custodian with no chance.  The goal separated the teams at half-time.

H:T   White’s  1  :  0  Maroon’s
The second period saw Maroon’s have the lion’s share of possession. They moved the ball well.  New man Peter Brammer grew into the game and seemed to be enjoying himself. For all of their attacking though they could not carve out a clear cut chance.
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Wingrove , ever the architect was having difficulty in building momentum for his team. Wilson on the wing, such  a prolific goalscorer lately , was having  one of his quieter games, not for the lack of effort which was always apparent.  Hadge Cooper was resolute in tucking in and cutting off his runs  (walks). Trevor Brereton too , fresh from Tenerife, was having a fine game.
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Halfway through the second half defender Johnson strayed into his own goal area. PENALTY! The call went out for Rob Lake and he blasted the spot kick past Peter Ward.  I’ve not checked the video yet, but I hope he only took one step !
Rob Lake's penalty about to nestle in the net
Rob Lake’s penalty about to nestle in the net

Maroon’s had needed a set piece because their finishing has not really tested a succession of White’s ‘keepers. At 1 – 1 the game was on  a knife edge.
David Wenham, such  a  deceptive player. Sometimes his body movement and his footwork seem non-symbiotic yet, he knows exactly what he’s doing most of the time.

He took up some intuitive positions today and one or two of his passes were pure precision.
John Williams and Peter Ward were also playing their part in keeping the White’s in the game. And Tony Cravagan was turning in his usually dependable performance.
Partington lets fly - just a blur !
Partington lets fly – just a blur !

Players were tiring under the heat. It needed something special to break the deadlock. Grasping the nettle, David Partington let fly on goal from the edge of the shooting zone and the ball flew in the net. I doubt any  goalkeeper in Denton or Turin could have stopped that one.  Jim Thompson looked on in awe and thanked his lucky stars he’d not been between the sticks.

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At the other end Wingrove let a cannonball go and Richards  ( foolishly because it stung) got a fingertip to the  volley which earned Maroon’s a free kick due to its rising trajectory.
The seconds ticked away. Perspiration, perspiration, perspiration.
Full-time White’s 1  (Johnson) :  Maroon’s 2 (Lake, pen ; Partington)
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  • Thirteen. Lucky for some?
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    Nothing to do with good luck today.  It was sheer hard work and persistence that gave the Orangemen an unlikely victory over numerical dis-advantage.
    Strider’s gathered for pre-match photographs.  All bibbed up and raring to go.
    Orange struck first.  An opener for David Moore – his first in  a while. A crisp  low drive that Jim Thompson just could not get down to in time.
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    The large pitch was bathed in sunshine.  Orange were playing the better football for the most part. A defender in the area ! Penalty !!  Richards claimed the ball and what followed was a travesty of a kick. Low, but weak and central.  Easily saved by the White ‘keeper Thompson.
    No matter – David Moore only added another a couple of minutes later. Orange in the ascendancy.
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    Two goal Lake – good in the deep.. and going forward.
  • White’s  main threat was  David Wilson on the wing, and the leggy Rob Lake whose invention and drive posed challenges.  Mike McHale Smith and John Williams were doing their best to steady the ship.  It was Lake though who reduced the arrears with  a well taken goal.  Then the same man showed Richards how to take a penalty when he left the Orange custodian no chance whatsoever with  a powerful shot.
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    H:T 2 – 2
  • Confounding the  numerical deficiency, Oranges played better football in the second half.  Ward, Wenham and Richards linking up well going forward and using the full width of the pitch.  Urged on by  a combative Partington it was left to Steve Wingrove to score what proved the winning goal.
    Wilson and Lake could not penetrate a resolute Orange defence and as time ebbed away they seemed to run out of ideas.
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    The warm weather took its toll. Some of these players were in ‘action’  just yesterday at Ashton.
    Another good game. The ‘zest’ of Orange saw them through. Numbers were down a lot on last week with some regulars missing.  The rule changes are sinking in and it is good to have a Referee in charge.  A little argey-bargey on the pitch today was nipped in the bud.

F:T Orange 3 : 2  Whites

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    The players were told of the boost to our funding which sees our sustainability assured. Although today – if taken  as a one off event – we were in the red to the tune of £4.  Nothing to worry about. Insurance matters and final  (for the time being) kit purchases will be sorted  next week.
    Remember we need at least SIX players for the 24th. at Ashton. Preferably more.  Contact me at: if you can make it.

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  • August 30th at DENTON
Something resembling a  proper eleven-a-side football match took place at Denton this morning.  With  a magnificent turn out of NINETEEN players the game – which ebbed and flowed –  had a realistic result,  and even a little controversy.
Orange and White Bibs differentiated  the two teams after scientific selection from Playing-Manager  David Partington. White’s had a one man advantage. We can call him Walter.
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Breaking Bad and good, both the sides went at each other with predictable gusto from the off.  All walking to begin with.  New man in the middle, Referee  Allan Graham made an imposing presence , and once we sorted him with  a green bib it became clear not to pass him the ball !
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The game felt to have more structure with  a fully functioning Ref. on the pitch with us and moving – albeit a little gingerly, Allan has a knee injury at the moment.  Of course there were more stoppages but that’s inevitable.  Once we get used to our Referees requirements we will each have to tailor our game to the standard (ish) rules in so far as we want to adopt them. I stress there are as yet NO official rules for Walking Football – we await the F.A.’s pleasure on that. In the meantime we adapt the ‘Walking Football United’ Rules – if you haven’t got a copy please ask Dave Wilson…but back to the game today.
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We used the full length of the pitch once the high turnout was confirmed. White Bibs main threat came from David Wilson on the right flank.  He hit two goals midway through the first half.  Orange Bibs went forward but had no penetration and couldn’t test Thompson in the White’s goal.
Steve Johnson was spoken too after going to ground with successive sliding tackles which will always draw a free kick. When players are not expecting these they can do real harm. Fortunately no damage was done.
H:T Orange 0 – 2 White
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The second half was similar. Ebb and flow and balanced possession. Mc-Hale-Smith moved forward to improve his teams chances which were largely chanelled via Wingrove, who had a couple of wayward shots that posed no threat. There’s no way I can mention everyone in this report so if you had an attempt in the second half take it as read it was noticed. Richards (me) had three , and I wasted all of ’em . Video replays later – if the battery held out. :-p
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Steve Johnson continued to offend with his tackling.  Perhaps we ourselves were to blame because we did not explain the rules properly. Steve wasn’t here last week. I’m giving the benefit of the doubt here and don’t not want to criticise anyone unduly (other than myself) so if you’re reading the Steve please come back next week and stay on your feet.
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David Bridge – playing with  a knee injury helped keep Oranges out of the box with stout defending. Gordon Nixon doing the same job for the opposition. Always strong, seldom puts a foot wrong. Neither goalkeeper was seriously under threat in the second half.  A poor game for anyone watching, so just as well they weren’t. To play in, it was demanding and a good work out which raised heart rates.
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The Referee was the man of the match for my money. (Our money, and worth every penny).  He enforced the new height rule very well and although he said later he’d been ‘lenient’ many thought the balance was about right.
Sadly no team photo’s.  I wanted two separate team groups at the end but too many had de-bibbed. Keep ’em on for the camera please guys because it’s a record for the Strider’s archives.  Some of us will be pushing up daises sooner, rather than later – and a photographic record for those who come along afterwards would be good.
I thought I’d end on a cheery note.
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Nice one Strider’s – let’s do it all again next week.
F:T  The Obtuse Orange 0 : 2  The Walter White’s
Referee: Allan Graham (next week same man in black)
Attendance: Zero

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  • August 23rd at DENTON
Six a side. Now we know how players might have felt at Wembley in times gone by. A huge pitch.
Just weeks ago, under Wellfit  we would have played ACROSS that pitch with just six-a-side.
Today it didn’t even cross our minds.
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Maybe we were right, maybe not.  The sweat pumped out and the ground covered will maybe convince you we’re up to the task.
Warm up taken by Gordon Nixon. Teams selected by David Partington with some input from yours truly. Bibs dispensed. Play commenced. David Wilson, as ever on the wing,  lapped it up . Two goals to the good in next to no time. Well taken goals too. Yellows were on a roll. Would Oranges roll over ?
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Some resistance from Steve Wingrove in particular – valiant attempts but he just couldn’t find the target. When he did Jim Thompson was equal to him. Superb handling from the Denton based keeper. John Williams and David Wenham were valiant. Gibbons and Graham urging from midfield.
The unmanned video camera was placed at the wrong end. Despite a strong defence, the Orangemen lacked mobility up front. Wenham found himself thwarted, and Pete Ward – normally such  a threat, was kept in check by the Yellow back line.
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H:T 2- 0 to Yellows.
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The second half brought little change.  Richards broke free from the edge of his own area and made up ground  rapidly to the shooting zone but his final effort was incredibly lame. The traffic was one way and verging upon rush hour.  Oranges were lacking zest, mobility and it has to be said  imagination.  Almost everything through Wingrove and he just couldn’t make it count today.
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Penalty ! David Wilson – Hungry for a hat-trick grabbed the ball and shaped up to take it. I can’t remember if it went wide, or was saved. Either way it was a matter of seconds before Trevor Brereton  put the game beyond doubt with  a fine goal from the edge of the ‘D’
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Three nil and cruising now . With Jim Thompson resisting everything the Orangemen could throw at him the Yellow’s launched attack after attack. Nixon and Partington threading balls skilfully through to Brereton, who unselfishly fed Alan Richards but Brereton’s ingress into the area denied the balding striker his first goal for a week.
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Hadge Cooper was wizard with the whistle. Well done Hadge. You did it for free today. When your playing days are over there’s a role for you if you want it.   Although at  a tenner a time you may face competition.
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Another penalty !  Richards claimed the ball, put it on the spot and fired it wide of Wingrove to wrap up victory.
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Over the post match brew David Wenham thought the teams should have been changed at half-time. I disagreed. It was a mere two-nil and could still have gone either way.  Changing teams around is not good in my opinion.  Unless one of them  is being trounced. They are selected in good faith. Performance on the day can make selection look unbalanced,  but  does it matter ?
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David harpooned me accusingly  “Ahh but you want to win” – of course I like to win, but it’s NOT important. I’ve been on the wrong end of defeats – like all of us – I’d rather maintain the element of defeat and victory than than manipulate a ‘fair’ outcome where the result is gerrymandered.  I always enjoy David’s input but who wants to win more?  Surely someone who wants a losing team to be ‘adjusted’.  Brew room banter David.  Your team won three nowt last week – and I was on the losing side – no complaints or requests for a re-arrangement of the teams because we lost.  I’m with Rudyard Kipling.  (Triumph and disaster) #imposters.
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No cameras at the end – to the relief of one or two.  My main reason for photo’s is that they drive traffic to the website and I personally like a record of these ‘events’.  For that’s what these games are…events ! We’re not exactly on borrowed time but we are pushing it a bit. Can you imagine YOUR Dad playing football at sixty-six? Mine had been dead for  ten years.  We’re a lucky bunch. Win OR lose it doesn’t matter. The sweat and toil made it a good work out and a lot of fun. A truly brilliant day – wish I’d taken  a picture or two now….video still processing 🙂
Full-time :  Ripe Oranges 0 – 4 Old Yellows
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  •  THE ORANGE MEN  3  :  0   The  OFF WHITE’s
  • A few murmerings in the air today at Denton.
    Many feel the game is getting too brisk and a little over physical.
    I’ll have the video on here by tomorrow evening so we can perhaps check for ourselves. I’ll do  a voice over commentary – especially during the bits where Eve’s eating a packet of Quavers!  Crinkle crinkle little star 🙂
    The video’s a little jerky  at times but worth looking at if you were involved.
    It was another fairly close game. White’s had such  a lot of possession in the first half too it was surprising they were one down at the break.  Orange’s  goal came Courtesy of Dave Gibbons and his snapshot from the inner edge of the shooting area.
  • H:T Orange’s 1 : 0 White’s
  • The second half began with a heavy challenge on Steve Wingrove from Mike McHale-Smith.
    In walking football tackling is barred – you are only meant to block the ball.
    No sliding tackles or going to ground to attack the ball at an opponents feet.
  • Orange’s future looked assured when Gordon Nixon put through his own goal after being put under pressure, the game was put beyond White reach when Steve Johnson – often  a handful – scored a cracker from the edge of the ‘D’  – just  a pity the video had given out by then.   Good goalkeeping by John Williams prevented this becoming a rout. Three nil was a fair scoreline in the end and the best team on the day won the game, but in reality there wasn’t too much wrong with White’s that a couple of better players wouldn’t have put right 🙂
  • So, we have much to consider from the day’s events. Where are we going as a group? Conversations need to be had.  Let’s get there five minutes early next week and talk about matters. The experiments we are conducting for instance. The shooting area is working but the D’s need to be bigger than they were today to make it easier and better for the ‘keepers.  We have temporarily abandoned the 2.0 metre restriction – three simultaneous experiments are one too many.
    We need to keep this game FUN. Enjoyment is the key factor. Allowing players a little bit of time on the ball to express themselves. Remember – Results matter but they’re not important. We play Level 3 at Denton. When some of us move up to Level 4 eventually (probably next Spring)  then that’s different.
  • Thanks to Eve Richards for the video today – and to David Wilson for Refereeing (not easy) and for re-claiming a lost ball from  a tree !
    PLEASE COMMENT BELOW OR LEAVE FEEDBACK.  THE WHITE PANEL IS ANONYMOUS to the site anyway – the darker panel appears on the site.
  • Keep it fun lads - we're better when we're smiling
    Keep it fun lads – we’re better when we’re smiling


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Yellow Bib’s  2 :  0  Maroon Bib’s
An impressive turnout of seventeen players,  a referee and a photographer all from within the group showed up under threatening skies at King Street this morning. Welcome to newcomer Barry Mulholland.
Barry Mulholland - newcomer
Barry Mulholland – newcomer

Partington picked the teams and it was 9 v. 8 The  men in yellow bibs with the numerical advantage. Though our player-manager actually saw Maroon’s as superior.
The plant pot zone markers were deployed for our  shooting ‘experiment’  and a rudimentary ‘D’ marked out in yellow – this later became a rather more angular ‘E’ without the bit in the middle.

The man in the middle – or more accurately stood to one side with an Acme Thunderer between his lips was David Wilson. Stricken with injury he agreed to Referee the game.  Thanks David.  Thanks too are due to Gordon Nixon, our Chairman for donating 12 fine marker cones of the 12″ inch high variety, or whatever that equates to in centimetres.
Today they marked the corners of our pitch. All twelve of them though could be utilised as a dribbling slalom for training sessions.  Now there’s a thing. Anyone up for a ‘training session’? I know where there’s a free, enclosed pitch doing nowt. (maybe not – there’s only so many days in the week!)
Photographer Alan Richards  (ie. me) decided discretion the better part of valour and opted out of a fourth game in five days. To the game……
Early on in an intriguing match  Dave Wenham put the Yellow’s ahead , and had another disallowed a few minutes later. Wenham can be deceptive. A sometimes slow-mo approach can turn in an instant to lethal , rapid fire footwork. Sometimes.
Wenham : deceptive footwork
Wenham : deceptive footwork
A penalty from Steve  Wingrove was brilliantly saved by our Player-Manager David Partington – diving quickly to his left.  Passing was often poor to be honest and neither team could keep the ball for very long.
Great save Dave
H:T  Yellow’s 1 :  0  Maroon’s
After the interval the passing improved a little but Maroon’s could make  little headway. Wingrove spurned a chance, shooting high , wide and handsome. The ball went outside the perimeter fence !  Yellow’s doybed their advantage when Wenham, clearly on fire, bagged a brace.
At the other end , Marron’s were having no such luck. Hadge Cooper failed to capitalise from  a good Wingrove ball  while at the other end David Wenham almost bagged a hat-trick but transgressed into the penalty area.
Taylor and Gibbons vie for the ball
Taylor and Gibbons vie for the ball

To be frank I was too busy capturing the action and commenting upon it to have a real handle on what went on. I hope the 2nd. half video is enjoyable when I finally get it up on the site.
Signing on fees and weekly subs collected today amounted to £94 ! A boost for ‘the kitty’. Minus £20 pitch rental of course.  Paid promptly to our hosts , Denton Youth F.C. No other outlay today , or this week as yet.

Rob Lake - often impressive on the ball
Rob Lake – often impressive on the ball
Can you think of anything we need ? – comment below.
Those who donned green bibs and thought they were ‘too tight’ ?  I don’t know which bag you plucked them from but the two XL goalkeeper bibs we have are still here – unused.  I also have a Men’s ‘Small’ Green bib here which I have no idea why? If anyone at Denton Youth F.C. is minus a green bib – apologies –  I shall return it soon. No group photo at the end – keep yer bibs on for a team shot or there’s no point. It helps the match reports too.
Good, encouraging turnout – do we want it to get much bigger?  We may have to think about that in the future.
Video soon – assuming it’s any good.



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Yellows 1 Maroons 1  (a bit long winded this as I had my own audio commentary to work from!)

Independence DaY. “NEW BALLS PLEASE!!”
The day The Tameside Striders strode out on their own into  a brave new world of walking football.  New warm up man Mike McHale-Smith limbered the lads up.

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15 Strider’s turned out in natty new Bibs today. The traditional yellow (Thank you G) and an unusual Maroon number which helped differentiate. I think both teams in Bibs is an excellent idea. Do you?
New Player Manager Dave Partington picked the teams. A balanced line up of seven  a side , Maroon’s boosted to eight when latecomer David Wenham entered the arena.
Few chances early doors and some cat and mouse play but in the fifth minute a right win cross from Rob Lake caught out Gordon Nixon and he headed the ball into his own goal to put the Yellows in front.
Maroon stalwart Dave Gibbons was feeding Mike McHale-Smith, who was seeing plenty of the ball on the right wing.
Yellows pushed forward looking to increase their lead. Options were limited though and imagination also lacking a little. Also they had the formidable figure of David Bridge – maroon’s last line of defence – to get past.
Pete Ward and Steve Johnson were lively in maroon bibs. Asking questions of Jim Thompson  a couple of times, and he found answers right on cue.
Ward had chance to equalise but put the ball just wide. Brereton had a shot safely gathered by Thompson, bang on form today.
Steve Wingrove, ever confident and  John Williams had some good interplay in midfield but the outlet to the flanks was lacking. Rob Lake again a picture of grace and artistry on the ball always willing to carry it forward with  a trick or two up his short sleeve.
In the ninth minute Pete Ward controlled a lovely ball from Wenham to score a cracking goal from just inside the area.
Ward also went close a few minutes later, hitting the post  just before half-time.
H-T  1-1
The teams stayed the same after the break. Dave Wenham thought his presence on the other team would have given them more options going forward but the idea was overruled by the group.
Mike McHale -Smith almost scored. He was switching wings, intelligently  looking for variety to outwit the Yellows. Some poor passing ensued in the early stages of the second half.  The exception was Rick Baker – a newcomer to Denton. who  was having a really good debut here, confident and assured ,  finding his man every time with both feet.
A few warnings from the Referee to slow down were heeded.  Danger man Ward again went close as Thompson gathered.
Wingrove fed Wilson who shot just wide. With no breather  (in goal) on offer some of the men were feeling the pace. Partington, ever the architect was trying to build something for yellows and fed various team mates with decent passes. Maroons always looked the more dangerous and likely to score
A penalty claim for Yellow was turned down. The Referee not swayed by vocal protestations.
Baker headed a McHale cross clear  but Maroons came back to  to test Thompson yet again –  Steve Johnson this time denied by the veteran ‘keeper.  Thompson blotted his copybook though as he  rolled the ball right to the feet of McHale-Smith but redeemed himself with  a fine save as the double-barelled winger fired a blank.
Gordon Nixon, never shy of the aerial game  headed a clearance from  a threatening Wingrove cross. Wingrove and Brereton  narrowly avoided a clash of heads moments later. Dave Gibbons was marshalling his team well and confidently striding out of defence with the ball, looking for options. Usually finding McHale-Smith.
Lake headed over for yellows following a great cross from Wingrove. McHale-Smith hit the post at the other end. Ward blasted over as both teams looked for a winner.  Trevor Brereton spun on a sixpence and shot just over. A memorable moment. Rick Baker cleared his lines twice as maroons came forward in waves. Yellows seemed to have settled for a draw at this point.
The minutes ticked by and the stalemate wasn’t broken. A fair result in which the woodwork featured more than once.  A fine time had by all I think.  Followed by a productive meeting. More of which later.

F:T  Yellows 1 – 1  Maroons

(P.S. Don’t forget Curzon’s community day on Saturday if you can make it – make it by half one – cheers  ~  Curzon Friday at 11-00am still on too)

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July 19th. what a scorcher!

Six-a-side Wellfit session at Denton Three goals, no result, no photographs and no match report – the way Wellfit like it now. In stifling heat, halfway through the second half many of us were told to ‘slow down’ which suggests fitness levels have moved north of their usual remit – the ‘couch potato’.

Good to meet new man David Gibbons. Confident on the ball and off it.

**NO MEETING NEXT WEEK ** As I’ll have the info you’ll all need and I’ve been asked to meet with Manchester County F.A. at Curzon Ashton (another game I’ll miss). You really could do with me being there (I hope) An alternative will be arrived at soon. Watch this space or the ‘News’ Page.  Thanks.


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July 15th. at Curzon –

Just a brief report from the session this morning. Turn out was down a little. Holiday season and once again leaden skies would not have helped in that regard. Last night’s horrible events in France cast something of a pall over proceedings as some of commented before the game.

Thanks to Wellfit’s Steve Owen for providing the warm up and the refereeing – always important.

It was five-a-side thanks to Mark Bradshaw & Sam Wrigley from Curzon. In accordance with Wellfit’s preference no more detail and no photographs. It was an enjoyable game and there were eight goals. One bloke, whose name escapes me scored a hat-trick but he missed three sitters too so we’ll draw a veil over that. Bib’s won again so all talk of a hoodoo is now dead and buried.

I enjoyed a post match brew and a chat with Garry Pearce. There are more benefits to this than just exercise. I’m in North Wales now on a break from ‘Walking Football’ and ALL it implications – until Monday !! 🙂

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  • A stiff breeze greeted a dozen Strider’s at Denton today 6th July 2016.Scoring flowed fairly freely with  a total of sixteen goals. No result recorded. Thanks to some marvellous interplay from my team mates I managed to bag four, eventually. First half Mike M_S , Steve J. and Pete W. laid on several chances on  a plate for me but it wouldn’t go in.  Mike asked if I had my boots on the right feet ! Then  a plastic cone robbed me of a chance – some bobble that ! Eventually I got into the swing of it (after a header that seemed to wake me up) and scored four second half goals. Our opponents were all fab, our ‘keeper David was brilliant but I can only write about myself really given the circumstances. If you want the old match reports back come to Curzon on the 11th. Or wait until we run some of the sessions ourselves.


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  • Dateline July 1st. 2016
  • A 7 v 6 sided affair at Ashton today – 9 goals scored. Played in good spirit. That’s all I can say really.I’ve heard from Wellfit’s Mick Owen – as some of you will already know – and he no longer approves of photographs at sessions, results and recording of scores , match reports, m.o.t.m., video recording or fostering a sense of ‘belonging’ as he feels that is divisive, can lead to ‘cliques’ and might deter new players (who just want to turn up and play) from joining the sessions.I understand where Mick is coming from and respect his opinion. I want to continue playing at the ‘Wellfit’ sessions and have told him there will be no more reportage – beyond the minimal sentence or two. I will not mention results,  or record video or photographs at their sessions in future. If my doing so has upset or annoyed ANY of you fellows then I’m really sorry – that was not my intention.This won’t apply to  the forthcoming sessions at Curzon Ashton on a Monday, or on Friday’s going forward beyond Wellfit’s involvement.

Thank you.

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  • Dateline Denton ~ June 28th. 2016
  • Fifteen Striders, including newcomer John Williams showed up at Martin Fields in Denton on this overcast June morning.
    A tight game ensued.  Indeed the ebb and flow was remarkable as end to end play and the fluidity of the football was a credit to all .
    Alan Richards put a header over the bar for Plains from a fierce cross whipped in from someone or other. Trevor Brereton hit the crossbar.
    Graham Oakley  (Plain)was purposefully covering lots of ground and moved the ball well.Pete Jarvis too,  instrumental in keeping Bib’s attacks flowing towards a succession of stand in goalkeepers. Custodian for Bib’s was the reliable Jim Thompson.
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    Stand out performance of the day was from Steve Wingrove . Some good dribbling and almost faultless distribution. A man who covers ground effortlessly even though he gets the odd pull for running.  Speaking of which Dave Wilson again transgressed the running rule in the first half.
  • H:T 0-0
  • Plains looked the likelier to score and true enough David Wilson with his back to goal got the faintest of touches to help a drilled shot from Partington (I think) past a despairing Thompson.
    Bibs pressed for an equaliser. Gordon Nixon missed a fine chance and Keith Oldham could only find the side netting with  a neat outside of the foot effort.
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  • Thanks to Fiona of AgeUK Tameside  for the action photographs – lots of them. I think I shall put them to music. Looking for something suitable.
  • Bibs run of bad luck continues – whatever set of players don those yellow tabards they’ve  not produced a win in many, many  weeks.
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  • DATELINE :  June 24th. 2016
  • Plains 3  (Partington, 3) : Bibs 2 (Roberts, 2)
  • There was rain in the air at Curzon Ashton as eleven men gathered for  another fifty minutes of walking football. Under the keen eyed supervision of Steve Owen – warm up completed and Bibs donned – the numerical superiority of the men in yellow was expected to influence matters.
    More good football from these oldsters. Contrast the passing and the movement with moderately talented teenagers  and I’d say us grey blokes move the ball much better.
  • We’re not all greying of course, and anyway,  some of us  are bald !
  • Plains took the lead. David Partington,  a rare but very welcome  visitor to Ashton took the game by the scruff of the neck. Distributing well and dribbling his way around Bib’s defenders.
    Alan Graham (I think) hit the bar with  a fine looping header as Plains pressed to double their lead. Bib’s proved resilient. Pearce with another fine save from somebody or other.
    Before half time Pete Roberts levelled the scores with  a shot drilled past the advancing ‘keeper.
    H:T 1 – 1
    In the second half the threatened rain began to fall. No matter to these men. The Bib’s pressed and pressed with Pearce lively, but Alan Graham proved an immovable object in Plain’s defence. Vic Tomlisson’s artistry was more than resisted by an energetic Tony Cravanagh, surely having his best game in weeks.
  • Eric Leach tried to get Bill Cunningham into the game but the Plain’s were equal to the threat. David Wilson, back from illness had been finding lots of space upfront but eventually relieved Alan Graham in goal.  Partington once more took matters under his wing. His second goal was a classic, solo effort. Running and jinking from deep to slot the ball past an exposed goalkeeper. The absence of star man Terry Bertenshaw was alleviated somewhat by the very positive Partington , who clearly loves this form of football.
  • Alan Gerllish was robust in Bib’s  defence and his efforts to link up with Pearce and Roberts were fruitful but the ball just refused to threaten Plain’s goal. Partington hit his hat-trick two minutes from time with another incisive move.  Alan Richards came close to making it 4 – 1 but was denied by Gerllish between the sticks.  Tony Cravanagh in  an advanced position almost fashioned a shooting chance, but there were to be no more goals for the Plain men.
  • Pete Roberts – Bib’s main threat –  skilfully narrowed the deficit and bagged his brace as the whistle blew. A fair result – just. No photo’s again today. If you prefer photographs/video please let me know. It’s always an option.
  • F : T Plains 3 – Bibs 2.   (The Bibs curse continues – not won in several weeks)
    Bibs: Pearce ; Roberts; Cunningham; Leach; Gerllish; Tomlisson
    Plains: Wilson ; Graham ; Richards ; Cravanagh ;Partington
  • * NEW MONDAY SESSION BEGINS at Ashton JULY 11th. at 11am.with  ‘The Nash’ Amblers *
    Similar standard of competitiveness. A recruitment drive is underway but all Strider’s are very welcome. See the leaflet on the ‘NEWS’ page.
    Let’s get this thing going – let’s keep walking football growing ! Curzon are keen on promoting the game – be involved from the start.
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  • Denton ~Dateline : June 21st. 2016 – 10-00am.
  • Plains: Ward, Jarvis,Richards,Brereton,Oldham,Brown
    Bibs: Marland, Johnson, Cooper, Partington, McHale-Smith, Cravagan
    Bibs 1 (Richards o.g.)
    Plains 3 (Ward, Richards, Oldham)
    H-T : 1 – 1
  • An evenly contested first half  of six-a-side played across the pitch at Denton  with some good football played along the deck. Chances were few and far between but Tony Marland blazed a  good one over the bar for Bibs. Richards mised a sitter at the other end , shooting well wide with his usually reliable left foot.
  • Peter Jarvis was instrumental in most of Plains attacking moves , linking up well with Trevor Brereton and Pete Ward. Keith Oldham was also pivotal in their forays forward.
    David Partington and Mike McHale-Smith were proving a handful , spurred on from the back by some solid defending by Cravagan and Cooper. Jim Thomson, playing outfield for a change was steady and dependable.
  • Bibs took the lead after a short range shot cannoned of ‘keeper Richards’ foot and went in off a post. Own goal !  The advantage was short lived however. Jarvis & Oldham  linking up for an equaliser, finished with aplomb by the ever mobile Pete Ward.
    Marland – now in goal for Bibs produced some fine handling in  a number of high ball situations as Plain’s went down the aerial route, to little avail.
    H-T 1:1
    The second half started with the creative Pete Jarvis in between the sticks for Plains. Graham Brown making his presence felt on the left wing for a while .  Still trying to find weaknesses in the air a number of  crossed balls from Richards failed to find any heads until  Brereton latched on to one and nodded it just wide.  With Jarvis now playing outfield and playing a key role once more Plains began to assert a small measure of authority.  He found Keith Oldham on the right. The man from Hyde slotted the ball inside for Alan Richards to put the Plains in front for the first time with a rare right foot finish.  Oldham himself was on the mark moments later when  a marooned Cooper saw the ball bounce off his crossbar to be tapped in for a three-one lead. Despite much foraging by Partington & Steve Johnson they couldn’t breach the Plain’s  goal and that’s how the score stayed.
    Another superb game of walking football. No photo’s this time. Maybe next.
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Ashton – dateline June 17th.2016

Bibs 1 : Plains 1

Seven Bibs v. Six plains at Ashton today.

The numbers didn’t add up. Nor did the dominance that Plains dished out. Some beautiful link up play from Hibbert, Bertenshaw and Roberts led to a Plain’s goal after just eight minutes..

A neat flick from Pete Roberts  after Terry Bertenshaw’s defence splitting pass- he has a finely honed predator’s instinct in front of goal , does Pete and it’s STILL sharp.
He almost doubled the lead minutes later  but Plain’s ‘keeper finger tipped a shot over the bar.

A change of ‘keeper at this point for Plains, and Garry Pearce  – in appropriate goalkeeper green once more took to the task to the manor born. Several minutes of all out attacking football saw the Bib’s defence outfoxed time and time again. Much mayhem in the goalmouth  in  a fantastic three minute spell. The woodwork was rattled several times – Pearce’s goal led a charmed life and he himself made some excellent saves.  Bibs could hardly get anything moving up front and were lucky to get to half-time with only one goal separating the teams.
H:T 1-0
As they could well have been trailing by five or six by now Bib’s composed themselves and began to look more like a team in the second half. Alan Graham & Eric Leach were getting a grip of the midfield. Trevor Brereton’s defending was – as usual – key throughout and he was so fluid and mobile no-one did more to even out the possession stats.
Pearce, now outfield crossed superbly for Richards to head just over.
One or two challenges were – let’s say – a little robust and Referee Steve Owen had to give the teams 30 seconds ‘time out’ to calm down ! Alan Richards hit the deck like a ton of bricks and Alan (Surname unknown) also clattered into Garry Pearce but came off slightly the worse for wear. There was no malice involved at all, just timing and momentum.
Tony Cravagan was seeing plenty of the ball in his customary defensive role.  Edging forward at times his distribution was more than dependable.
Man of the match Pearce was always involved and after a foray forward from him, Richards cottoned on to a loose ball in the box and equalised with what was little more than a tap in.

The combined efforts of the classy Vic Tomlisson, energetic  Phil Hibbert  and an inventive Terry  Bertenshaw couldn’t force a Bib’s winner. The lattter didn’t get on the scoresheet – unusual for Terry. Bill Cunningham played his part, always providing an outlet for  Plains as they  held on gamely for what had looked like an unlikely draw.

Another fine game – no photo’s this time I’m afraid.

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  • Bibs 0 :  3 Plains (Richards 2, Nixon)
  • Bibs: Bridge ; Lake ; Partington ; Ward ; Cooper
  • Plains: Nixon; Richards; Wingrove ; Brereton; Owen
    Nine intrepid walking footballer’s  turned up as the rain came down in Denton today.
    No shower this lot. Some really good five-a-side football followed as Steve Owen evened up the numbers and took up his place between the sticks for the Plains.
    The drizzle actually eased off as play started – across the pitch this time. Lake and Partington were pushing forward early doors  but Plains broke away and a fine ball from Wingrove found Alan Richards in space. Advancing a couple of steps he tucked away the opener. Somewhat against the run of play. Bridge and Ward kept Bibs in the hunt for an equaliser but the tricky Rob Lake looked likeliest to outwit Plains defence.
    Plains doubled their lead when Richards flighted a corner  perfectly (no, really)  to Gordon Nixon and he made no mistake – his solid header hit the target , leaving the ‘keeper with no chance.
    Nixon returned the favour a few minutes later when his superb crossfield ball was latched on to by Richards  who again beat the advancing Ward, squeezing his shot into the bottom corner.
    HT : 3 : 0
    After the interval Bibs began to pose more problems for Plains but couldn’t force the ball over the line. Partington was ever mobile and trying to unlock the formidable combination of Brereton and Wingrove both energetic and covering lots of ground. Cooper was working the right flank and moving forward for Bibs but again Brereton was marshalling the resistance. Richards broke loose but found Bridge – now between the sticks – just too big  a figure to get past and, somewhat limply ran out of ideas. Nixon burst free – at walking pace- but shot wide. With Steve Wingrove now their  playmaker-in-chief   the Plains looked bound to increase their lead. His delightful chip was headed over by Richards.
  • Dynamo like Rob Lake was driving Bibs forward with great energy, bamboozling all but Trevor Brereton who performed heroics in defence to keep  the clean sheet. As the game drew to  a close Steve Owen made a quite magnificent save and Brereton mopped up with a goal line clearance. It finished three nil but all who played were winners once more. A fantastic game of five-a-side played in the usual friendly spirit with  a midly competitive edge. A pleasure to play with these guys and thanks to Steve Owen for the warm up.
  • Thoughts with, and best wishes to Tony Marland and David Wilson – both absent today for different reasons. See you soon Chaps, we hope. Photo’s a bit fuzzy at the edges – so was I at the end! I really missed my post match brew – Graham where are you ? 🙂
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And now, for something a  little different …

Strider’s 35  : Ambler’s 29 ish.


Fourteen Ambler’s at Ashton today. Rain was in the air and initially it looked as though numbers might be down a little.
Such is the spirit in the camp though as the rain threat diminished the players grew in number and the session warm-up  was taken – unusually – by Steve Owen’s brother, Mick.
Play commenced after  a lesson on a blue card system Mick had introduced, from memory it’s three strikes and you’re out for two minutes. Something like that.
Although the game started as a seven-a-side  affair with Red Bibs v. Plains the latter soon began to assert themselves and the goals totted up. Apparently we didn’t start from nil-nil, but 32-27. At least that’s what I thought I was told at the beginning.
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Each goalscorer changed sides. The 7 v. 7 soon became 9 v 5 but Bibs could make little impression  – bizarre, in and of itself really.
The increasing fitness of the group was evident.  I can’t mention everyone but the Tomlisson brothers, Trevor Brereton, Eric Leach, Dave Carter  and  Pete Ward were all making their presence felt. Alan too – one of the other Alan’s…don’t know his surname.
I actually tried to man mark Terry Bertenshaw for all of two minutes – he may well not have  noticed – but he proved so slippery , creative and energetic !
Bill Cunningham had a good game , in and out of the goalkeeper role  – great to see Bill improving with every game – if only I could say the same about myself.
DSCF3984 (2)
Half time arrived – I think it was 35-27 by then.  I was de-bibbed and changed sides, as did several others. By now all relevance of a result was lost upon me to be honest and we were all sweating for the sheer love of a game of football. Walking with purpose ! I think one or two ‘blue cards’ were shown by our referee Mick. But nobody hit the sin bin – thankfully.
Because ‘result’ was immaterial I have no idea who scored the goals – I was too busy trying to remember who was on my side.
It WAS a great game. Despite the element of ‘confusion’ . We all seemed to enjoy it. That’s the name of the game , after all.
There will be more photographs. Thanks to Erin Leach for handling the camera with such aplomb.



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Dateline June 7th 2016
Bibs 3 – Plains 3…..I think. The writer was on both teams so expect confusion.

It was another one of those rather confusing games at Denton today, where goal scorers switched sides immediately they found the back of the net.

David Partington struck first , for Bibs. Stroking the ball home with aplomb.Eight on one side and Seven on the other in the warmest weather we’ve experienced yet for ‘walking football’ this year.

Playmaker-in-Chief and a now Plain was that man Partington, playing just n front of a solid looking back line of Bridge, Cooper and Nixon . They levelled the scores with a fine goal from David Wilson , who then became a Bib. Richards put the Bibs back in front and became Plain. Nixon increased the Bibs lead and assumed Plain status. Confused? You bet. I’m sure the effervescent Pete Ward scored at some point but the order escapes me now

I think it was 3-1 or 3-2 at half time and the heat was taking its toll. The first half seemed endless to be honest. We had a couple of female spectators and I hope it didn’t seem quite so long for them as it did for some of the players !

Some of the football was good. Moore linked up well on the wing for Plains . One or two players adopted a slightly brisker pace than allowed but Referee Owen let some slow running go and would helpfully shout warnings to those pushing it a bit.

Eric Leach went close to scoring with his head . Pete Ward was driving forward in his Bib by now trying to feed Wilson on the flank but Plains held firm with Bridge a collossus in defence. Cooper edged forward and Keith Oldham was helping out with some committed play.

Eric Leach had a Bib on when he pulled one back with a thunder strike. I think the scores finished 3-3 confirmed by Trevor Brereton. One the day it really didn’t matter much due to all the changes. Tony Marland went close a couple of times. Richards missed a chance to wrap things up near at the end after some trademark creative play from Partington.

If I haven’t mentioned you blame the heat. My head was swimming by the finish.
Video captured some of the action at one end only . Typically not the end I scored at, just where I squandered one at the death. Sod’s law for me.

The ‘highlights’ of the action it captured will go on the website warts and all in a day or so.

Pleasure to be there. I think.

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Dateline Denton – May 31st.2016
Eighteen players in Denton today as a stiff breeze played its part in a close game of walking football.
Newcomer David Hardy joined another new face (to me) in David Bridge, with  a heavily strapped knee.
Some really good passing football got the game off to a cracking start. Alan Richards rattled the Plain’s crossbar with  a header and Rob Lake also went close with another headed effort. Jim Thompson was busy in his last game before an extended holiday break.
Partington prompted the Bib’s forward and Wilson and Moore were both productive on the wings.
For plains the energetic Wingrove  and a mobile Tony Marland were effective in pushing for an opener. The former had a close range shot blocked by Richards having a stint between the sticks.
Keith Oldham’s passing was up to his usual standard, a most reliable distributor of the ball. Graham Brown was lively for Plains , trying to instigate attacking play but always with an eye to his defensive role.
Halfway through the first period Bib’s took the lead when Trevor Brereton kept up his goal  a game record and slotted in from an acute angle. A fine goal.
Unperturbed the Plain men pressed for an equaliser which came from  a corner. Tony Marland’s aerial presence was key and he connected well to head the ball home. <<< Mobile Marland : ‘fit as a fiddle’and ‘man of the match’H-T:  1 – 1The breeze had dropped a little but goals were hard to come by in  a second half  of even play. Tit for tat attacks with very few stoppages the action was end to end. Wenham made inroads for Plains but was thwarted by alert defenders Partington and Ward.
A draw looked on the cards when Marland found some space in the area and prodded home what proved to be the winning goal on  a day when Bib’s just couldn’t find a reply.
At the end David Hardy expressed a negative opinion on this form of the game . “Too much aerial play and too many bodies in the penalty areas”. “Not for me” he exclaimed. A shame , because his contribution had been more than useful.
David Bridge’s knee came through the test and we all adjourned to the brew room for a reviving cuppa. A tight game but the right team won. Are Bib’s a curse lately ? Full time: Plains 2 Bibs 1
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BIBS 2 : PLAINS 8 Ashton Dateline 27th May 2016

Numbers meant little at Curzon Ashton today. With a numerical advantage of seven players to six the men in Bibs were soon on the back foot as Richards slotted home an opener after just four minutes, thanks to excellent passing from Ward & Brereton.

Ben Tomlisson, Son of Paul nephew of Vic and just flown in from Seattle was on the touchline capturing the action for us as Plains asserted their dominance playing some fine football. Both Tomlisson brothers orchestrating the forward play ably assisted by the silky skills and vision of Terry Bertenshaw.

For Bibs, the imposing presence of Alan Graham and fellow defenders Garry Pearce prevented more strikes on goal but the inevitable came when Pete Robers doubled the Plain’s lead.
David Wilson, almost alone for Bibs probed the right flank menacingly but his efforts produced little in the way of dividend. Bertenshaw added a third and Roberts had another disallowed for shooting inside the box. Bibs heads did not drop though , and David Wenham went close, Trevor Brereton as usual energetic trying to summon up a revival. This time to no avail.

Birthday boy: David Wilson – busy on the wing today

Jim Thompson in the Bib’s goal cut a somewhat dejected figure as Paul Tomlisson stroked one home to make it four nil with time still for Bertenshaw to add another. This was becoming a rout although to be fair the Bib’s were never THAT bad.


Bib’s Phil Hibbert was entrusted with a rare penalty, after being fouled , but brought the best from ‘keeper Pete Roberts who flung himself to the ground. The shot ricoched off his body onto the bar and away to safety. It certainly wasn’t Bibs day today.

H-T : 0 – 5

Whatever was said at Half time (I’d rather NOT report it) the men in yellow began the second period like men on a mission. Birthday boy Wilson tormenting Plains defenders time and time again. Seeing lots of the ball his crosses were spurned on a couple of occasions and it was fitting that the man himself grabbed what look like a consolation goal for Bibs. Sadly, no more happy returns for David in front of goal today.

Alan Graham fired in a firm piledriver which must have stung Pete Ward’s hands as he parried it away. Richards failed to connect with a superb cross from Vic Tomlisson the ball whistling just over his balding head.
Plains soon reasserted their authority though, when Pete Roberts – back in his predator role this time grabbed his second and his team’s sixth. Garry Pearce struck again for Bib’s from the edge of the ‘D’ but up popped Terry Bertenshaw to bag two more to seal an emphatic – if a little flattering 8-2 win.

Wenham and Bertenshaw tussle

A good game , played in great spirit – enjoyed by all. Last week I was on the end of a 6-1 hammering – today I wasn’t. Swings and roundabouts for ‘walking footballers’ who enjoy ALL the fun of this football fair.
Well done Striders ! Thanks to Ben Tomlisson for the photography.Steve Owen for efficient officiating.

The teams

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24th. May 2016 ***FESTIVAAAL***

Three teams of six-a-side took part in the Wellfit football festival at Denton today.
Strong sunshine but lack of numbers, and a lack of unfamiliar faces meant for a restricted programme of several games of ten minute duration.

Goals were at a premium – I think there about six in all. Tony Marland and Dave Wenham went closest before Steve Wingrove popped up to bag a couple, and Pete Ward slotted home. Any other goals I’ve forgotten, sorry.

Jim Thompson pulled off a save Joe Hart or David De Gea would have been proud of – those gloves were a good investment Jim.
Jim Thompson – great save

There were several lack lustre performances – mine included. The lack of goals betrayed a certain lack of imagination on the pitch and passes went astray, balls weren’t reached but hey! This is just a bit of fun, right?

Notable exceptions included the busy Wingrove, Graham Oakley, Gordon Nixon, Eric Leach, Trevor Brereton and Pete Ward and YOU, if you thought you had a decent game. I won’t comment on anyone being below par – apart from myself – because I’m not really qualified to do so. We’re all winners because we turned up! – that right isn’t it David Wilson 🙂

Determination etched upon those faces

An unusual format today but well worth a try. We’ve tried it now. For me the best thing about it was the weather,and teams wearing the same shirt if I’m honest. My feet were killin’ me by the end. All those little bits of rubbber were chaffing my blisters!! Thanks to Steve Owen for first class officiating as usual, and a good warm-up. Thanks to Mick Owen for organising the morning. To Gordon Nixon, Tony Cravagan & David Wilson for assisting with ‘capturing the day’.

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May 20th. 2016  ~~~ Another sensational goal scoring feat from Terry Bertenshaw as he went nap to give Plains a fine 5 – 1 win at Curzon Ashton’s training ground today.

The game started with Wilson probing on the flank and seeing a lot of the ball.



Richards forced two really magnificent saves from Garry Pearce, looking every inch the custodian in his traditional goalkeeper green shirt. His fingertip save from a ricochet header from his own defender – newcomer Alan Graham – was the icing on the cake during his stint between the sticks.

Midway through the first half the score line was a stale mate 0-0 then Bertenshaw struck. Predator like he stuck out a foot to connect with an out of the area drive from Pete Ward. Richards had no chance in Bibs goal. Two minutes later Bertenshaw doubled the Plains lead – The same ‘keeper again helpless to prevent the quicksilver striker from doing what he does best.


H-T Bibs 0 – Plains 2

A change of ends did little to change matters. Although Bib’s pressed for a while there was no end result as Richards failed to get on the end of couple of decent crosses from David Wilson. Pearce, playing outfield now gave a measure of solidity to the Plains defence alongside an uncompromising Alan Graham – an imposing presence.

Alan Graham – newcomer

Bertenshaw added another and a rout looked likely. Bibs persevered though and it was that man Trevor Brereton who got them back in the game with a well taken goal. At 3 – 1 a comeback looked likely. But Bibs cried wolf, and this proved not to be. A defensive howler allowed Bertenshaw in again . Bamboozling the Bib’s back line (all two of ’em) and made it 4-1.

The fifth was not long in coming. Bertenshaw again, (who else) this time falling to the ground , keeper Tomlisson too, as his stabbed shot nestled in the back of the Bib’s net.

two on the deck – still smiling

There was no doubting Plain’s superiority but the scoreline flattered just a little. Pearce’s early saves and Bertenshaw’s finishing made the difference today.

Good to see Vic Tomlisson back after a trip abroad, stroking the ball about in his inimitable, classy fashion, brother Paul added energy to Bib’s and at least they went down fighting (after a fashion) with a never-say-die-attitude.
F.T. Bibs 1 : Plains 5.

Nine out of ten (Ten for Terry) ~~thanks to Tony Cravagan for taking the pics (hope to see you back playing soon Tony)

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A fine turnout of some eighteen ‘Striders’ at Denton this morning for another game of non-competitive competitive walking football.

Group shot

The teams were again , evenly balanced. A tribute to Steve Owen’s selections which are worked out in his head, it seems as he’s taking the warm up exercise routine.
Plains went close first and much of the attacking threat was coming from Wingrove and Lake as the latter went close.

Wingrove on the ball

Several players were penalised for running in a first half of as high a tempo as can be achieved whilst walking. Straying over that boundary line is as hard to resist as it is to accurately detect. I’m glad I don’t officiate.

Plains took a deserved lead when Trevor Brereton stabbed one home past a despairing ‘keeper. One – nil it stayed when Richards miscontrolled a fine ball from the flank from David Wilson.

Richards spurns a chance

McHale-Smith and Partington were chief orchestrators for Plains early doors but passes went astray and attacking moves broke down.
Gordon Nixon’s head was a big player today. Dependably denying many a high ball into the fray. Oldham and Wilson on the flanks kept Plains in with a sniff of a chance.

H-T: 1 – 0

Pete Jarvis was prompting many a move for the Plain men and only the resilience of Partington and Cooper at the back kept Bib’s in the match. Wingrove hit the post and other chances were squandered. A goalmouth tussle saw Partington almost wrestled to the ground and Marland scrambling to get the ball into the safety of his hands. Another let off.
Closest effort from Bibs came with a left foot volley from Keith Oldham which was a foot or two too high. Plains continued to probe and only a succession of good safe handling from Mick Owen in the Bibs goal kept them at bay. The inevitable came though when Pete Ward , in space, cottoned on to a loose ball and advanced on the goal calmly slotting home to double Plain’s lead.

Newcomer Jim Thompson was a permanent fixture in the Plains goal and will be pleased with a clean sheet on his debut.

Jim Thompson – they shall not pass ![/caption]

A fine game , played in the right spirit with, on balance a result that was fair, and though unimportant, did matter – to some at least.
“The Winners are all those who turn up” said David Wilson , whilst enjoying a post-match cup of tea.
Amen to that.
F-T: Bibs 0 – Plains 2

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Enough said…

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A goalfest looked on the cards from the off today. With Curzon Ashton’s training complex bathed in sunshine the sunshine yellow of the Bibs made a lightening start. Pete Roberts broke through with barely twenty seconds on the clock to put his side ahead.

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As the teams lined up it looked as though Plain’s might be up against it, Bibs looked formidable with Eric Leach and Trevor Brereton at the back and Steve Johnson pushing forward.
A return from injury for David Wilson too, out on the wing meant the odds for a Bibs victory would have been short.
Shorter still just a few minutes after when Roberts – on fire in the first half today – doubled their advantage.


It took sterling work from Plain’s men Garry Pearce, Bill Cunningham and Geoff Howard to stem this tide. Roberts had what looked like a good goal disallowed for running and then yet another for shooting just outside the area. How lethal was Pete’s finishing early doors? Pete Ward denied Bibs too with a fine save. Plains struggled to get forward at times.


Plains were in no mood for surrender though and quickly hit back with Terry Bertenshaw scoring two rapid fire goals only for Brereton to restore the lead just before half time.
Sally Watkin, who had been photographing events decided to take to the field and joined the Plains team adding some deft touches and helping the cause. Bibs Dave Carter & Paul Tomlisson were busy as the men in yellow looked to hold onto their slender lead.

The equaliser came when Alan Richards, struggling to get the ball out of his feet on the edge of the area turned and neatly flicked a back heel leveller, reminiscent of Denis Law 1974 at Old Trafford! (it sez ‘ere).
At 3-3 time was running out but there were further goals in this game. Terry Bertenshaw , surely the Sergio Aguero / Marcus Rashford of local walking football scored his hat-trick to put Plains in the lead for the first time in the match.


At the other end Paul Tomlisson missed an opportunity to equalise but was unlucky as the angle proved just a little too tight. Sally Watkin changed sides and donned a bib to even things up. This made a difference as Bibs drove forward looking to salvage a game they could possibly have been running away with. Played in a fine spirit once more a draw looked likely though. Any team with Trevor Brereton in it has a never-say-die attitude and it was the man himself who bagged his second to make it 4-4.
Seconds were ticking away and who else but that man Bertenshaw popped up AGAIN to slot home a terrific winning goal – his fourth ! 5 – 4 to The men in a variety of plain shirts, a Brexit statement and one hat !


The only disappointment was the post match group shot *didn’t turn out* for some reason. Such a shame, I’m not sure what went wrong. However thanks to Sally for capturing some of the first half action. Some featured within this report – others on ‘Team Shots’ later today.

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May 12th 2016
From our Glossop correspondent: Good six-a-side turnout this very afternoon, where the Bib’s triumphed two-nil. Not that wide a margin really but they were the stronger team, apparently. Some pics next time maybe.

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May 10th.

A fine turnout in the sunshine at Denton today. The breeze was stiffening a little and playing tricks with the ball. Numbers meant it was  7 plains v 6 bibs but the game was tight. Some excellent wing play from Keith Oldham, and all action energy from Steve Johnson for the Plainmen meant Bibs were often on the backfoot.  Livewire Pete Ward was also testing Bibs defenders with his (walking) pace and movement.  Dave (surname unknown) was a menace on the other wing as Plains made full use of both flanks. Hadge Cooper was a commanding presence holding the line and distributing well.
Dave Wenham was a steadying influence for Bibs and Gordon Nixon held the back solid but couldn’t prevent a fine, ground skimming piledriver from Steve Johnson which beat ‘keeper Alan Richards by his near post. Graham took  a stint in goal for Bibs and did better; keeping the men plains at bay as they pressed to double their lead.  Ivan Taylor was busy for Bibs and of course Tevor Brereton’s fitness and ability meant he was often on the ball. In the second half this keen contest was almost settled when Pete Ward shot wide for plains when a goal looked more likely.

Dave Wenham went down injured and holding his neck. He had to leave the field and Keith Oldham donned a Bib. Tony Marland was driving Bibs ever forward but Gordon Nixon put in a fine stint between the posts – superb handling Gordon.

As the minutes ticked by Alan Richards headed over the bar from an Ivan Taylor cross and it seemed the Plains would prevail. Trevor Brereton has different ideas though and cottoning onto  a clearance he made rapid (walking) ground to fire in a deserved leveller which nestled in the net, much to the relief of his ‘bibbed’ team mates.
Football with a smile. Hope your  neck is easing David. A few action shots will follow – thanks to Bernadette and Craig for handling the camera. Brews all around afterwards and here’s the  group shot as has become the custom. Comments welcome – add to this report by all means.
* many more action pics to follow in *TEAM SHOTS* later today.


The Leveller

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