Thursday, December 30, 2010

July 2007 - Ontario Cup Quarter Final - Ottawa St Anthony Italia vs Aurora Hearts

July 2007 - Ontario Cup Quarter Final
Ottawa St Anthony Italia vs Aurora Hearts
Admission: $3
Attendance: 50

Both clubs are amateur, and play in their respective Ontario senior amateur leagues. As this was a few years back. Ottawa St Anthony's was founded back in 1952, which makes it quite old in terms of Canadian soccer (football). As you can perhaps guess, they are a part of the local Italian social club. In 2006, they won the Canadian National Challenge Cup, as well as the Open Canada Cup. Aurora Hearts were established in 1981. They won the Ontario Cup in 2001, and finished 3rd in the Canadian National Challenge Cup. Aurora is a town of 47,000 located in the Greater Toronto Area.

I can't remember the score or anything about the game. It was played at Oz Optics Stadium, which was the home of the Ottawa Wizards, a semi pro club in the CPSL, from 2001-2003. The stadium is quite basic, with metal bleachers, but I always loved watching games here because you were so close to the pitch. Speaking about the pitch, I've rarely seen one in such beautiful condition, especially during the Ottawa Wizards days. It was like a carpet.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Midlands Football Alliance 2006 - Biddulph Victoria vs Friar Lane & Epworth

Midlands Football Alliance 2006
Biddulph Victoria vs Friar Lane & Epworth

Unfortunately, I don't remember much about this game, as it was four years ago. As previously I wrote, I lived in Leicester for a few years, and I followed my local non-league club around Leicestershire, and then around the Midlands as Friar Lane & Epworth were promoted to the Midlands Football Alliance.

Biddulph Victoria plays in Biddulph which has a population of around 17,000. To get to Biddulph, I had to take a train from Leicester to Derby, change trains, and then a train to Stoke. From Stoke, I took a bus for about 30 minutes to Biddulph. I remember, it took me about 3 hours to get to Stoke and back on the day.

Biddulph Victoria were formed in 1969, Knypersley Victoria. Back in 1997/98 they made it all the way to 4th qualifying round of the FA Cup, which has to be considered the greatest success for the club. Unfortunately, over the past few years the club has struggled. A few weeks ago, the club tendered its resignation from the MFA, and as it stands now the club will fold at the end of the season. There is a chance that they could survive if they find a new ground to play at. We shall see what happens, and hopefully the club doesn't fold.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Midlands Football Alliance 2006 - Market Drayton Town vs Friar Lane & Epworth

Midlands Football Alliance 2006 (Step 9 in England)
Market Drayton Town vs Friar Lane & Epworth

Market Drayton is a town in Shropshire of around 10,500. I honestly have no memory as to how I got there, but I assume it was by bus, and it probably took a few hours at least. It was a a beautiful little place, although the weather on the day was awful. I honestly, can't recall much from this game, apart from the small crowd, and old stand.

Market Drayton Town were promoted in 2008/09 to the Northern Premier League First Division South.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Spring of 2006 - Midlands Football Alliance - Westfields 2 Friar Lane & Epworth 2

Spring of 2006
Midlands Football Alliance (step 9)
Westfields 2 Friar Lane & Epworth 2
Attendance: 80

It is the Czech winter break, so I will post some old games I have attended over the past few years. I lived in Leciester from 2005-2006, and as such I adopted a local non-league club. My method of selection was to pick the club closest to where I lived. Actually, Leicester City was the closest, but I wanted a non-league club, and it ended up being Friar Lane & Epworth. For those two years, I travelled around Leicestershire following them in their Championship season in the Leicestershire Senior League. The year after, they were promoted to the Midlands Football Alliance, which meant more time spent on the trains. Luckily, I had a students card which saved me quite a lot of money, as trains in England can be quite expensive.

On this particular day, I went to the city of Hereford, which is close to Wales. It took me 3.5 hours to get there with a change in Birmingham and Worcester. The club manager joked that I arrived their quicker than the team bus, as they arrived just before kickoff. I remember it was me and one other Friar Lane supporter at the game, which was typical for Friar Lane & Epworth away games in the Midland Football Alliance. I think on this day, it was close to 100 mile trip one way. Even though I can't go to Friar Lane & Epworth games anymore, as I live in a different country, I still check on them weekly. They were the first club I properly supported outside of Canada.