Sunday, 12 November 2017

Amazing!

Earlier this season we noted the incredible fact that Paul Bastock, who guarded our net on many occasions in the early 1990s, was still playing at the age of 47.  It’s still kind of difficult to get your head around that. A career so long, it began before the break up of the Soviet Union, the invention of the internet and pub food being edible.  Yes those really were different times.

Yesterday Paul reached the summit by playing his 1,250th match in competitive club football, passing Peter Shilton and setting a new world record.  What an honour, and nice to think that among his many, many clubs (probably also a world record) is Kettering Town, where he featured strongly in our 1991/92 Cup run to Ewood Park whilst always looking lovably gormless.  

Shilts was naturally gracious, tweeting not sure who Paul Bastock is or what bloody record he thinks he’s broken but mine was LEAGUE GAMES.  Ah the goalkeepers brotherhood!

Those among you who have reached (or passed) the age of 47 might be reflecting now on how Paul Bastock still manages to fling himself to the ground and pull off reflex saves at an age when the rest of us, on dropping a fork to the floor, go down in instalments.  What is his secret?   Warm baths?  Ice baths?  Cod liver oil?  WD40?

As he seems determined to play on for ever, there is plenty of time for medical science to investigate whilst Bastock keeps on racking up the apps and Shilton grumbles away to himself. 

Meanwhile we raise a glass to an old Poppy who has done something quite remarkable.      

 
 

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Can't Ignore It, I Suppose


As unpalatable as this photograph is, and the fact we all lament the destruction
Rockingham Road, there is an undeniable, painful beauty in this image.

Stark.  Strewn.  Defeated.  But still noble,
with the defiant floodlight reaching for the wintry sky.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Classy Poppies, classy

The officialdom of the Poppies hasn't always been as careful and considerate as they might have been.  Sometimes, when a more thoughtful approach was required they'd be blinkered and brusque.  If not awkward, or outright criminal.

If we've lost our footballing way over the past decade or more at least we've started to regain our soul since escaping Non Park and the clutches of various Shysters who saw nothing in the Poppies other than a few quick pay-days.

Today the Club and Trust joined together to bid farewell to Rockingham Road, and the past and look ahead, whilst still honouring our shared past at our former home.  Even I, who kind of knew from the day we deserted our spiritual home that we'd never return, and kind of accepted this, was touched by the report on the official site of today's proceedings.

We will have tough days in the future, when results don't go our way, or the Council shaft us again, or the Tea Bar has no chips.  But we've still got our club.  And our memories.  And, God help me, we've got each other.  As with a family, you can't choose your kin.  Bumbling, whinging inbreds we might be, but a Poppies family we are and I wouldn't swap any of you for someone better...!

Click here - Farewell Rocky Road



Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Goals, Goals, Goals (please)


Biggleswade 0-0 Poppies
Nantwich 1-1 Poppies
Poppies 0-1 Nantwich
Poppies 0-0 Slough
Redditch 0-0 Poppies


Presently, no-one would bet on us scoring here either
 

Monday, 16 October 2017

Well, that didn't take long.....

Making a big, big assumption that we'll get the better of Nantwich tomorrow, the tension barely had chance to build as we drew Stevenage away in the first tie of 40 drawn tonight.

More thoughts.  If we get through tomorrow!



Yes I know.
Westley is no longer Stevenage's Manager.
But he's still a horrible sh*t.


And, there you have it.  The ability of the FA Cup to kick you in the teeth.  Did we deserve to win?  Not really.  Did they?  Again, not really.  They pretty much managed one attempt from open play over two games, but, that's the way football goes sometimes.


Me, today - click here

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Spot the Difference

So, what has happened to turn the Poppies from last season's underachievers into this season's, well, overachievers?  Fourteen games all told this season.  Thirteen wins,  It's a record that should garner Marcus the Southern League "Manager of the Month" for August/September.  Unless, of course, the League find some way to hand it to the Hereford Manager because their crowds are so big.  Marcus is doing so well this season that his sacking is called for on KTFC Chat barely more than twice a week.  Praise indeed.

But why?  Why are we doing so much better this season?  Are Solkhon and Mulligan hitting a defensive peak, with an almost telepathic understanding?  Likewise have O'Connor and Howe actually opened a dialogue this season?  Possibly.

Surely the main reason for our resurgence this season is down to one simple fact?  This season we actually have a midfield.

Our midfield for 2015-6 was, er, OK (ish) I suppose.  Sometimes.  Carvalho had some good flashes, and a name that fitted well into a chant.  Kaid Mohammed probably always turned up for training, and looked professional on the bench.  One touch in ten from Liam Canavan was pure class.  Well, perhaps one touch in twenty.  Nathan Hicks was a solid 6 out of 10 every week.  Hornby?  Sulky, and with a fatally heavy touch on the ball, but always had clean boots.

But, compare the above with the 2016-7 vintage.  Michael Richens is a one-man footballing army.  Rhys Hoenes is a whirling dervish of attacking intent.  Ben Milnes a mixture of steel and danger.  Lindon Miekle is class in a glass.

Let's be honest, not only would none of last season's middle of the park displace any of the current shirt-holders, I'm not sure any of them would be allowed to carry their water bottles either.

Last season we let a lot of goals in due to individual errors at the back.  In fact we suffered a hideous rash of inexplicable f*ck-ups in the final third.  Some real jaw-dropping moments of awfulness.  But, the main reason the opposition managed to dip their soldiers into the runny egg of our defence so often was because they had easily strolled through our powder-puff midfield.  Not so this season.

Anyone wanting to try their luck against our mercurial Irish net-minder needs to run the gauntlet of tough Poppies defending from front-to-back.  If Rene Howe doesn't elbow you, Aaron will buzz around your ankles.  If you've still got the ball Hoenes will try to lift it off your toe, or Milnes will pick your pocket.  Failing that, Miekle will run off with ball when you think you're still kicking it.  If all else fails, Richens will kick you up in the air.

If, by some miracle, you've still not been dispossessed, Messrs Berry, Toseland, Solhkon, Mulligan and White still stand between you and trying to score your team's consolation goal.

Have we gone from decided also-rans to serious promotion contenders?  Perhaps it's still too early to say.  But, at the moment, no-one in our division will relish playing us.  And who knows, thirteen wins in the next fourteen games, perhaps a few more of our wavering fans will remember the Poppies are more than just Rockingham Road, and take a punt on the team doing so well at Latimer Park.

If you call yourself a Kettering Town fan, and can physically get yourself to the games you really have no excuse not to.


Feel the love at Latimer Park






Tuesday, 3 October 2017

3 down, 85 to go. Yes, we could do 85 more of these!


Someone who looks more like me than I do,
moves into his well-appointed pad on Bouchard Boulevard.

"What it lacks in space it sure makes up with, er,
ready access to a Bowling Alley.  After all,
I'm living in their carpark"

Thursday, 28 September 2017

(Stewart) Houston, we have a problem

Important and worrying news for any Poppies fans who have 'KTFC - FA Cup leading goalscorers' tattooed on to some part of their body. A combination of Villa being reliably useless and Arsenal deciding to specialise on winning the Cup to earn Wenger another 2 years has seen the Gunners sneak up into second place and closing fast. 

By the start of this season, they had cut our lead to just 7.  For Villa, roughly equivalent to half a decade in the competition, but for Arsenal with their attacking options the sort of deficit they could wipe out with just one easy home draw.  We, on the other hand, have to earn our precious goals the hard way, by going to places like Market Drayton and Romulus.

It feels like a great big honking juggernaut has just appeared in the rear view mirror, rather too close for comfort, driven by an angry looking little French guy who looks like he’s just sucked on a lemon.   
 
If they keep up their present hot streak, our days of dining out on this unique feat may be numbered which would be a bitter blow.  First the axe falls on Rocky Road and now this. But let’s be positive guys.  It’s still in our own hands.  Get to the Third Round, knock them out and we can rest easy for at least another year! 

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Am I as thick as pig-sh*t? Or does this smell to high-heaven?


So, Harpur Developments Ltd have "purchased" Rockingham Road from Ben Pickering Ltd to build a squillion houses on.

7-days ago Harpur Developments was a new-born company, created FROM Ben Pickering Ltd. who already owned the Rockingham Road site.  Mere days after KBC gave permission to build houses on the site.

I appreciate that we're never going to go back to Rocky Road. but am I the only person who feels that I'm being f*cked over here by people who have already made a fortune out of the supporters of Kettering Town FC, and are about to make a sh*t load more?

I fear these people even sleep well at night. Likewise our valued councillors who, seemingly, exist merely to rubber-stamp developments which allow the idle rich to get richer still.  F*ck the people they are elected to serve.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.


New Club logo? 






Thursday, 21 September 2017

Makes you wonder.....

.....when one councillor speaks with such eloquence, why the majority of our elected officials are such a bunch of self-satisfied, spinless pr*cks.

Happily screwing over anyone who's not a natural Tory supporter, and block-voting Kettering into slow oblivion while patting themselves forcefully on the back.

Almost enough to make you vote for a Tory....!

Michael Brown - take a bow.


Wednesday, 20 September 2017

2 down - 86 to go


Tristram and Quentin (with Liza) are more
than happy with their tiny house on Mark English Drive.

 "We love it.  Really love it.  Just what we wanted.
A kitchen would have been nice, mind.
As would a toilet, and a bedroom or some sort"
 

Sunday, 17 September 2017

88 Dwellings on Rockingham Road? One down. 87 to go.....


Mr Gilbert Loose-bottom proudly sits on the porch
of his new house at No.1 Mallinger Mews.

"I never wanted to own a cat anyway"

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Company admits it has more money than sense

The only thing that surprised me about the news that Rockingham Road has been sold by Ben Pickering Ltd for housing is that someone out there has met the Pickering's insanely unreal valuation of the site.  That, coupled with our Council's twin aims in life of sucking up to housing developers and f**king the town's football club, meant there was no real prospect of us making an emotional return.  We were never going home.

Property Owner Shafts Town

Details of which group of hutch-building, serial-liars have untold millions burning a hole in their pockets are scant, but it seems that an agreement has been reached.  Images of the trees behind the Rockingham Road terrace being felled did seem to suggest some movement for the ground was on the cards.

Presumably the new owners will start demolishing the old girl, whilst at the same time laying before our councillors plans for an unfeasibly large number of tiny, plaster-board dwellings with scant parking, and no gardens.  There will be plenty of sturdy, manageable, quick growing hedges to act as a faux green space.  Just right for the druggie, bottom end of the social housing lowlifes, who'll end up wrecking the area, to drop their dog muck and used hypodermics into.

Everyone will have favourite memories to tell and write about Rocky Road.  We'll no doubt regale a few ourselves in due course.  But, call me unsentimental, I find I'm more relieved than devastated by the news of the sale.  The removal of Rocky Road from the equation means we need no longer be split in our aims and intentions for the club.  We are where we are.  Time to make the best of it perhaps?  Stop dreaming of a fanciful return?  Stop imagining that if we somehow acquired millions, and got Rocky Road back that hundreds of people would descend upon the ground to repair all the damage and get the place back to its best.  That would never have happened.  Look at the turn out for any sort of event or volunteer day.  And then thousands would flock to games.  We were barely getting a thousand Poppies fans through the gates for Conference National games by the end. of our tenure at Rockingham Road.

Also, with our immediate future now in Burton Latimer maybe some of our old, lapsed supporters will find it in themselves to separate the idea of Kettering Town FC from Rockingham Road and realise their club still exists, and is playing not a million miles away.  Their old friends are still attending and the Poppies are, in effect, being run by fellow supporters.

Come back and join us.  Remember Rocky Road with affection, by all means, but please not at the expense supporting the club itself.



"It may not be Rockingham Road,
but Latimer Park is worth a thousand
souless Non Parks" 





Monday, 28 August 2017

Two emails David Mahoney really should get around to sending

David Mahoney to 
Committee of the Southern League

"Hi Darlings

I know we have registered red and black as our home strip this season, with a change strip of white, BUT, what are the chances we could change our home kit very slightly from red and black, to, er, blue, with white stripes?  Just for this season.  I appreciate this might cause the odd problemette or two,  but what do you think?

And, if it's not too much of an ask, could we nominate our away kit to be white, with blue stripes?

Let me know?  It would be much appreciated.  And sooner rather than later as our kits are getting a bit ripe......

Love to all,

Dave."




David Mahoney to
Captain Wang of the Orient Shipping Line

"Captain Slow

Christ alone knows what you're up to!  What are you doing with your ship?  F*cking rowing it? However, do us all a favour and continue to take the f*cking scenic route.  And if you are in danger of losing a container or two during a storm, don't worry if shipping container ACR15654 - 566A looks like being swept away.

In fact, even if you don't encounter a storm and that particular container looks like slipping overboard, please don't risk yourself or your men....

Dave"





"Hi Ritchie

I don't know what your problem was.  
This Chairman lark is a doddle!

Dave"
And, maybe a third email?

David Mahoney to
Ritchie Juene





Saturday, 26 August 2017

Shirty, once again

As our new team and supporter shirts still wend their way leisurely across the world (if only we had someone at the club who regularly visited China, and could have brought them back with him....) we've managed to rack up three four straight wins in kits that are (a) our away kit, and (b) a few years old.

It only occurred to me when we were beating Basingstoke as to WHY we weren't playing in last year's home kit.  Presumably these shirts were all autographed and handed out to various sponsors at the end of last season.  A handful of phone calls might have pulled together at least 16 shirts....

A few more wins and we might seriously have to ask ourselves - should we cancel the kit order and carry on in the blue and white stripes?  Until we meet another team who play in either blue or white, of course!  And then what?  Skins?

We supporters may moan about the lack on new shirts, but it doesn't stop us wearing our colours.  In fact, the merest glance at any group of Poppies supporters will show us all decked out in fetching red and black.  But, usually all DIFFERENT Poppies tops.  Have a look.  Without a new shirt to get behind, we have been raiding our wardrobes, but, somehow, laying our hands on a wide range of Poppies shirts.  You will see designs from most periods of Poppies recent history.  Some excellent.  Some OK.  Some not great (Cough) Last season (Cough).

More interesting than the various strips, hoops, stripes, plain, pinky, etc. is the reminder of the variety of sponsors we have had over the years.  National companies.  Local companies.  Rent-a-Doctor companies.  Charities.  Polar Bears.

Some companies still going strong.  Some long forgotten.  And DRC Locums of course, who frankly didn't get much reward for the twenty million a year sponsorship they ploughed into the Poppies, right up until the point their owner sold the company to an ex Dragon - James Khan.  Mm....I wonder how that court case is going?


"Is this the way to Latimer Park?" 



Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Is it just me......


.....or do all Football League referees end up
looking like serial Poppies friendlies ruiner,
Andy Woolmer?

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Respecting Our Elders

The new season is just out of the blocks and already two of our golden oldies have made their mark. First there’s Brett, picking up where he left off by sticking in a couple of set piece headers, just as he has been doing season after season all the way back to 2003.  He has now played (and almost certainly scored) in 14 of our last 16 campaigns. Ben Baker was in nappies the first time Brett pulled on a Poppies shirt.  A sobering thought for Brett.  And the rest of us.

Also still showing the youngsters how it's done is Rene Howe.  Maybe golden oldie is a bit premature, though it is over a decade since his first spell in red.  Yesterday he celebrated his 50th Poppies goal, something which he clearly was keenly aware of.  It has been an interesting half century.  The first 25 in a flurry of 3s, 4s and 5s, the second mostly in singles, with a fair bit of time at the non striker's end whilst serving yet another ban.  The Rene we see today (Rene 2.0 - twice as mean and twice the size), may not be as prolific as his younger self, but he knows all the tricks and very occasionally finds a ref who falls for them. Joining the 50 club places him in a fairly small club of modern Poppies, so congrats to Rene and we’re sorry for being rude about your weight. 

Meanwhile we must also doff our goalkeeping cap and wiggle it to ex Poppy Paul Bastock, who has astonishingly popped up at Corby at the age of 47.  Still with that slightly bemused look we saw on his debut at Yeovil, in 1990 for crying out loud!  That was so long ago, it was on the famous sloping pitch (younger readers, google it). Incredible to think there is someone still playing who shared a dressing room with Ernie Moss, whose own career almost overlapped with Stanley Matthews! 
 
For the opportunity of more nostalgic musings of this nature here’s hoping we get Corby in some cup or other before Bastock shuffles on.  Let’s face it, at this stage of his career he’s probably only got one more big move left in him.  

Friday, 18 August 2017

Racist Poppies Fans Are At It Again!

Or, so most non-league headlines will read.  Kettering - that hotbed of fascism.  Kettering - twinned with the townships of Hicksville, Mississippi and BuringCross, Alabama.  Kettering - stuck in an early 1970's episode of "Love Thy Neighbour"

Do we harbour unknown quantities of racists at Latimer Park?  All primed and ready to explode the moment a black opposition player does anything of note during a game? What possesses someone to shout out racist abuse at a football game?  They must know such behaviour is in no way tolerated?  Surely?

Should the individual be ejected - yes, obviously.  Should they be banned for the rest of the season - yes, why not?  Should they be banned for life?  Mm.  A trickier one. Should or can an individual really be banned FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIFE for uttering words, even if they are completely unacceptable words.  Should the Police prosecute as a "Hate Crime" - Of course not.  Are we getting a little too Orwellian here?  Violence is one thing.  Words another.

Perhaps this individual has issues?  Or perhaps the man in question was the most shocked person in the ground when the racial slur came out of his mouth?  Who knows.

I presume someone associated with the pinpointing and removal of this individual will be able to identify him should further sanctions be considered.  Mind you, after all the publicity stirred up by his outburst, I can't believe for a second he would dare turn up again!

So, are we a bunch of ignorant red-necks in NN16?  Or, in keeping with the rest of society we have people who rant and may shout out racial slurs, whether intentional or not.  I guess the next few weeks may give us a clearer idea?


 Is this really how some of us view the
action at Latimer Park?

Obviously not - they are wearing their
new red and black outfits.  Unlike us!


Friday, 11 August 2017

Once more unto the breach......

With season 145 only a few hours away, what can we realistically expect from 2017-18?

Firstly, we must hope that our new kits turn up!  We must be singly unlucky with our Far East purchases, as they always seem to be entrusted to the least sea-worthy vessels.  In a rapidly shrinking world our chosen shippers cling to a decidedly old-fashioned, ponderous working method.  No doubt replete with sail-ships, press-gangs and sodomy.

Assuming the kit arrives and our players and (God help us) supporters aren't naked, what else should we be looking forward to?

Although by no means the top of the list, we can only hope our unwieldy website gets some sort of update.  The player section could do with some serious work.  Either that or most of our players were actually born on January 1st 1970.  It is more than a little dispiriting that this date is the default date on the system, presumably set thus as it is so far in past.  Black and white telly.  3-day weeks.  Pre-decimalisation.  Dinosaurs.  Some of us remember 1970, albeit hazily.

 Re-ordering a Season Ticket online this Summer was a task more befitting the Krypton Factor than Kettering factor.  Cutting, pasting, copying, guessing.  The Club really must make it easier for us to open our wallets and pour our cash into their coffers!

Not that the Club isn't trying to encourage us to part with the readies in other areas.  What with "Sort the Pitch", "The 12th Man", "Poppies TV Fundraiser",we're all likely to be paupers in no time at all.  Pause for 5 minutes in the bar too close to Martin Bellamy and you find that you've sponsored the following Saturday's game!  Once you enter the ground you are relieved of whatever money you have left in purchasing some Klondike tickets.  I'm not sure what they are exactly.  I'm told these pieces of paper are some form of raffle, where you can win something?  I've heard this rumour, but have yet to see any hard evidence.

And what might we expect to see on the pitch in front of us.  Other than dust blowing off it if it hasn't rained for an hour, or splashing mud if it has?

We have signed some players who may or may not improve our performances over last season's efforts.  Most of them, if the website is to be believed, turned 47 years of ago on New Year's Day, but let's not hold that against them...!  We all know that the club is missing a f*ck-you central defender to bully the rest of the back four and the opposition.  Who knows, if Ollie Thorne ever (re)gains any sort of fitness, he may be the man?  If....

Marcus Law may have an interesting first few hours / weeks / months this season.  Not quite Arsene Wenger interesting, but still could it could be tasty.  Some of our more forthright, internet-savvy supporters will see a conceded corner as enough excuse to dispense with Marcus' services.  Others will be more patient, and give him until the first goal is chalked against us before demanding his head.

The opposition teams look tougher this season than last.  A number of clubs have, "money behind them" if the dark rumours are to be believed.  And among the newcomers is Hereford FC, the lastest phoenix from a club that made very little effort to save itself, and now strut around because they've won a couple of lower divisions.  Some of their supporters have been particularly repellent with their "banter" on various Facebook Southern League sites.  Others of their fans have also let their newly-discovered enthusiasm spill into aggravation at games too.  All a bit obvious and "Big Time".

They seem to have conveniently forgotten their previous incarnation were, at best, basement Football League fodder, and at worst, bitches for the likes of moderate Poppies teams of a decade and a half ago.  Getting relegated out of the Football League once is bad enough.  Twice?  Smacks of carelessness?

Now their new club has beaten a lot of village sides some of their supporters seem to have got a little ahead of themselves.  Are Hereford likely to challenge for the title this season?  Given the relative size of their club and support, they certainly should.  Are they a giant club in front of whom we should all tremble and pay homage?  Of course not.  Can a lot of their success be down being able to use Edgar Street, rather than ground-share at a "tin-pot" ground some miles away?  Absolutely!  Had Hereford achieved the same whilst playing their home games, at, say, Gloucester City or Worcester they would perhaps have earned the respect they seem to be demanding.

We'll get to bask in the glory that is Hereford when they come to Latimer Park on November 11th, when, no doubt, our reduced circumstances will cause great hilarity to a club who easily surrendered their entire history and managed to reform at their former home, rather than find themselves turfed out into the cold.

10 months of fun and frivolity lay ahead of us.  Football?  We put up with it just enough to keep coming back for more until we find something better to do with our non-Summer months.




Friday, 28 July 2017

Two games later and what do we know?

If a week is along time in politics it can be an epoch at Latimer Park.  From being drenched but happy in Wellingborough on Saturday after beating the Cobblers on the quickest penalty shoot-out in history (yes, it was THAT wet....) we were well and truly slapped in the face with "Deja Vu" by Barwell.

The only Poppies shirt to win headers in the first half

Above is a link to footage of my first ever, shortly followed by my second ever header at a Poppies match in over 35-years of attending matches.  Twice in one game after three and a half decades of waiting.  I have now headed the ball exactly twice more in a Poppies shirt than Nathan Koo Boothe and Oliver Thorne put together.  If you have a strange desire to see a fat bloke unconvincingly head a football, check out the footage between 8.30 and 9.15 minutes.

The new players all seemed to gel quite well.  Not sure of the names of any of them.  Blond one probably called Lyndon?  If previous pre-seasons have taught us nothing else, they have taught us not to get too attached to players who wear the Poppies red during July!  And our second half performance was most encouraging.

Paul White ruined a perfectly fine penalty save by asking me, whilst sheltering under my umbrella (ella, ella) as Brett strode forward, whether this could be the match winning penalty!  I confirmed it was.....pay attention Paul!  You can't very well run around like a headless, celebrating chicken if you don't know the score!

The inevitable bump was served up a few days later when Barwell, making the most of a very benign Latimer Park surface beat us at a canter.  It was a disappointing performance and result very much in keeping with the first couple of months home form last season: -


  • Game starts off very even
  • Then the opposition score
  • Then they score again
  • Then they add another, just for the fun of it
  • Then Rene gets himself sent off


So, Rene will sit out yet another pointless Poppies ban as the Management need to come up with a Plan B for home games.  Perhaps a plan that doesn't involves heavy defeats?  Just a thought.  Marcus, you can use this plan if you want it.


Friday, 21 July 2017

Not a good start....


...PATGOD has barely got back from the Summer break, ready to train hard ahead of the new season, when the debacle of the Maunsell Cup Final hit us.

Link to - Poppies take it in the Ar*e from NFA and NTFC

Even after putting out two official statements the Club has still to state the actual reason we all should de-camp to Wellingbrough.  It's the pitch.  It's not the pitch.  It's the floodlights.  It's not the floodlights.

All that comes across in the statements is that we've basically been bullied into moving this "prestige" fixture to another ground, in another town.  Sorry, but our Officials would have come out of this better by detailing the exact issues NFA and NTFC have.  And then cancelling the game.  And then refusing to enter the Hillier Senior Cup this season.  Let's face it, other than winning it the entire competition is a joke that gets in the way of proper games.

The Northants Football Association have shown for the umpteenth time they can't run a bath.  We ask once again - just what is the point of the organisation other than to give us a fixture backlog and treat us with zero respect?

Genuinely, what do they do?  Their website lists a whole heap of Chairmen, Directors, Presidents and Vice Presidents.  No doubt all fine chaps who are perfectly at home in the NFA Boardroom, or at the local Golf course, or Tory fundraisers or indulging in obscure Freemason ceremonies, but they don't actually run anything to do with football.  No Teams, no Divisions, no Leagues.  Just a poxy Cup competition that is so popular, clubs are forced to enter or risk being fined.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Farewell Liam

Liam Canavan's departure from Latimer Park has been greeted with a resounding "Meh" from Poppies fans.  Which is sad.

Liam was a player who could completely change a game.  For good or ill.  Or both.  Often at pretty much the same time.  Even his supporters, of which I am one, would cheerfully have throttled him half of the time.

But while he will be fondly remembered for his ability to cleanly strike a ball better than anyone else currently playing in Poppies red, he certainly won't be missed for his often pointless little flicks and touches which served only to baffle all at the game, including, I daresay, himself.

Liam has something.  We can all see it.  But will he ever show it consistently?  Or even twice in a game?  Over a couple of seasons here can it honestly be said that he noticeably improved ?  Even his diving (which he assiduously continued to work on) still looks like a five year old throwing himself to the floor in a tantrum over a cuddly-toy that's not even really wanted.

He now has another chance at Conference North level, albeit in a team pretty much guaranteed to be in a relegation battle from mid-September onwards - and all the best to the lad.

But what's the betting that his 2017-2018 season looks a bit like this: -


  • Starts in the Leamington team
  • Spell on the bench
  • Spell out of the squad
  • Dual registration with the Poppies
  • Starts in the Poppies team
  • Spell on the bench
  • Spell out of the squad
  • Return to Leamington in time to be released.....



Liam contemplates life in the fast lane.
At Leamington.....

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Wow! I can't believe we all missed this!


Georgy Porgy's ban is up!

Five years are up?

So soon?

Let's all agree not to let him know where we are these days.  Hopefully if he goes over to Non Park he'll think the Poppies have gone the same way......Had he remained that surely would have been our fate.


"Tenner says you'd love me back.
No, twenty.  No, thirty.
I don't have a gambling problem.  Really."

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Attendances - Part Two

Straight away I've got to admit I've leaned very heavily on the Southern League Website and, even more so, on the "Turnstile League" section of the Kings Lynn FC website when putting this piece together.  Have a gander The Turnstile League here - Turnstile League, and save it into your favourites section.  Perhaps replace the old Poppynet link you still have?

As we know, there are probably more former-Football League clubs bumming around at the non-league level than ever before.  And not just in the top division.  York, Stockport and Kidderminster are all currently just one sh*t-season away from sampling the delights of Latimer Park!

This glut of ex-League teams means there are a lot of clubs getting enormous gates in context of their non-league status.  Tranmere and Lincoln both pulled in average home gates of over 5000 this season.  Mind you, that only tells part of the story.  Lincoln had their best season for, well, probably ever.  5000+ for them is dream-land.  In the meantime, a crowd of 5000 at Prenton Park probably looks very spartan!  And those in attendance are probably still shell-shocked at being a non-league club and then losing out to the hobby-humus club from Nailsworth in the play-off final.  Forest Green Rovers managed to lose 5 supporters compared to the season before, despite promotion.  That said, an average gate of 1753 is not to be sniffed at when you have a population of under 6000.

But, who cares what other clubs did?  What about the mighty Poppies?  Overall our average league gate dropped from 522 to 502.  Does mean the 20 biggest whingers on Poppies Chat Facebook group actually put their money where their considerable mouths were and stopped attending?  We can but hope!  502 isn't a great average gate by KTFC standards.  However it was still the fourth highest average gate in our division last season.

And we had the most consistent support in the division.  Consistent?  How does that work?

Our highest gate of 658 contrasted with our lowest gate (a Tuesday night game against Redditch - obviously) of 343.  343 represents a 48% differential between our largest and smallest attendances.  The "South-West Mafia" of Weymouth, Chippenham and Dorchester all had a highest attendance far in excess of ours (no doubt when playing each other), but all recorded smallest gates lower than us.  Thus, Weymouth experienced a 74% difference between highest and lowest gate.  Chippenham had a differential of 76%.

Dorchester had an eye-watering 93% difference between their highest gate - an incredible 2033 against Weymouth, and the piddling 149, no doubt for a Tuesday night February game against Redditch.  Such is Dorchester's relaince on their local derby with Weymouth, that this game accounted for over 20% of their total home support for the entire season!

A number of the newly-minted clubs also saw a surge in support.  At least until they stop winning.  AFC Fylde saw the small matter of a 275% increase in "lifelong Coasters" from 522 to 1962.  The media whores at Salford City saw gates balloon from 642 to 1395.  It's strange how the small matter of national exposure and their own BBC TV series can double your attendances!

More fun are the crowds at the lower end of the non-league scene.  Not for the small sizes of the crowds.  We're in no position to mock clubs for small crowds.  No, more enjoyable is when you see a club average exactly one person less when compared to the previous season.  It makes you wonder if something personal happened!  Or did a fan exclaim, "Shent goo agen" and actually follow through on the threat?  Then you see another team added a single fan during 2016-17 and you wonder if this fan simply changed allegiance!  But for every club in turmoil, you have a Soham Town Rangers, who averaged exactly 125 contented, steady-souls for the past couple of seasons.


"Keep-up lino!"

"Woof!"


Sunday, 4 June 2017

Anyone looking for an entirely flat piece of land in Northants?




According to the Sales Brochure this site has: -


** Two careless former tenants **

** Easy access to a tin-pot village **

** Only the outside possibility of flooding every Spring.  And Autumn.
Very rarely Winter.  Almost never Summer **

** Nearby bridge with resident troll **

** A nice new wooden fence keeping members of the valued
travelling community off the site for all of five minutes **


Offers in excess of One Billion, Billion Pounds will be considered.
Please apply to the owner, c/o Cloud Cuckoo Land.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Kettering - the 1930's Silicon Valley?


How did I not know about this?  Does anyone know about this?  I've spoken to a couple of other Kettering folk today and they also looked at me with blank faces, registering nothing (although this isn't entirely unusual).

We all know that Kettering is famous for literally a scant handful of things, so the fact that a Kettering man built a robot back in the 1930's has seriously wowed me.  Add in the fact that the robot's creator taught him to smoke, consider my gob well and truly smacked!

WTF? Robert the Kettering Robot!

Whatever next?  Will someone unearth evidence of a dinosaur known to have roamed the Grange Estate back in the 1960's, that somehow we've collectively forgotten?  What about the little known flying saucer crash at Wickies in the 1970's?  Or, even more unlikely, will proof of Mark English actually paying a Tax Bill be found?

We need to know!


Sunday, 21 May 2017

Attendances Part One


Who doesn't love looking at non-league attendances?  How amazingly small some are.  How shockingly large some are.  Admittedly, it was more fun when we were nearer to the top of the pile when it came to crowds, but still, some great stats are thrown up.

And everyone loves to massage a good attendance stat.  Even hoary club officials, who really should know better.  Many moons ago, when coming back from an away game, Peter Morris popped up on the radio, seriously bigging-up our support base.  We listened, wide-eyed as he told the interviewer that were we to get promoted to the Football League (not quite as mad an idea back then), we would be getting 4000+ through the turnstiles every week!  Wow.  That's a lot!  What a great addition we'd be to the Football League!

Not that Peter Morris was alone in cherry-picking our attendance statistics when it suited.  I've also heard Imraan Ladak use similar figures.  Probably at a time he was trying to unload us to another schmuck valued investor.

Of course, this figure of 4000+ was based almost entirely on the last two home gates the previous season, when it suddenly dawned on the people of Kettering that their local club had a really good chance of winning the league, and were it not for the fact that Maidstone United's team of exciting young talent stayed stubbornly above our team of veteran journeymen, we may well have done it.

This led to three obvious results.


  1. The gates swelled from, an already healthy 2000+, to an incredible 4000+ for the last two home games
  2. You couldn't stand anywhere near where you'd managed to comfortably stand for the previous 9-months
  3. The team shat themselves in front of a large crowd


The additional bodies who came for the last couple of games boosted our average home attendance for the 1988-89 season to a massive 2500.  To put into context, this is almost exactly 5 x what we see today.  A once-in-a-generation golden age of large gates, title attempts, FA Cup glory, and botched finances by our boardroom.

Where our rivals such as Macclesfield, Wycombe and Barnet turned such bonanza periods into new grounds, promotion, or both, our officials pluckily managed to avoid paying Tax bills, fritter away goodwill, shed support and leave us ready for being picked off by shysters like Mark English and his ilk.



Cowper Street, circa 1989 


Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Are you missing the shouts of "Marcus Out" at Latimer Park?


Is the close-season return to normal life starting to get you down?  Do you find yourself missing the constant, un-flagging anti-Marcus braying of the mouthiest elements of our support?

Well, you don't have suffer the withdrawal symptoms of being beaten around the head by the constant repetition of disgruntled Poppies fans who are amazed that a Manager isn't sacked just because they want it to happen.

KTFC Chat is for you!


Read - Repeated calls for Marcus to be sacked NOW, or earlier in history if possible!
Read - Demands for Marcus's head every time a player he once employed does absolutely anything for another club!
Read - No ideas given as to how we could accommodate 72 players that everyone thinks should still be with us.  Dubi? FFS!
Read - Anyone who has an alternative point of view be derided!
Read - Fans who are so dedicated that they are proud to announce they are no longer going to watch their team!
Read - Appeals for help at the Club be met with deafening silence!


And the School holidays haven't even started yet.  Groan!

Friday, 28 April 2017

Right or Wrong?

Right or Wrong to celebrate the distress of others?  We're going to vote "Right" or this would be a very short piece!

The Top Two clubs in the County wind-up their seasons tomorrow, although I still can't quite believe little old Brackley make up half of that particular grouping.  Other major Northamptonshire Non-League clubs' seasons also came to a sudden, inglorious ends over the past few days.  While we enjoyed a few drinks, basking in a sunny day in Banbury, others weren't having such a good time.

Corby manfully managed to snatch consecutive relegations, or at least until the end of season horse-trading at the League get together may reprieve them.  Droping two divisions in two years is pretty impressive,  Not quite as impressive as when we managed to plummet THREE divisions in two seasons,  but still not bad, as they have managed it under their own steam, entirely on merit.  Or lack thereof.

For the first time in half a dozen years Corby Town have reverted to their accustomed place in the footballing pecking order; namely looking up at the Poppies with the usual mixture of anger, bitterness and Irn Bru.

And to be honest, I'm pretty sure Corby enjoy it this way as it feeds their inferiority complex and need to be suffering a gnawing sense of injustice.  Bless.  I hope their Council builds them a new stadium to cushion the blow of being officially shite.

AFC Scum-Lite failed at the Play-Off stage again, and are in danger of acquiring a new nickname of "The Bottlers".  Being the best supported club at their level isn't doing them a tremendous amount of good.  Can you imagine the grief Marcus would get if we had the best attendances and couldn't get out of a glorified pub-league division?  He lives in fear of being hung, drawn and quartered simply for not shaking hands with people who have been screaming for his dismissal solidly for 10 months.

And yet, Andy Peake is being hailed as some kind of hero for scraping into the play-offs and then losing them again.  A round earlier than last season.

Have Scummer-Juniors hit the "wall?"  Will 30-mile rounds trips from Rushden (presumably where the majority of their supporters hail from, even though they've not played there yet) to Kempston thin their support further?

I guess we'll find out when this nonsense begins again in barely 80-days time....We really must get better, fuller lives for ourselves.


AFC Scum-Lite.  Their promotion prospects soon resembled Non Park.

Somewhere they've never played, although you'd never
realise that by listening to them.



Friday, 21 April 2017

Getting close to seasons end.....

.....and judging by elements of our support who are camped out on Facebook, it can't come a moment too soon.  Having suffered through the absolute worst season in Poppies history (finishing 9th in the league and winning the County Cup) many fans seem to be heading into the summer break questioning their continued allegiance to the club.

And who can blame them?

Does any club that doesn't win their division every year deserve to continue to exist?  Why should they?  If a club can't guarantee silverware surely they should be wound-up on the first Sunday after the season finishes?

Why can't football clubs understand the very simple fact of life that they must guarantee only two things - wins and promotion.  That's all.  Nothing else.

No-one wants to worry our waverers any more than this apocalyptic season has already disturbed them, but, and whisper it quietly, we have no guarantee of promotion next season either!  Not only will we still have the clubs in our division we couldn't beat this season, but our opponents will be augmented by all or some of the following clubs - Hereford, Salisbury, Royston, Farnborough, Margate, Worcester, Corby and the Scum-lite.

We will no longer be able to bask in the comfortable certainty of being a "big club" in a small league anymore.  For reasons I've never quite understood, too many of us seem to believe we are a fallen giant, simply awaiting our day to rise again.  Really?  We managed to squeak an average home attendance of just over 500 this year.  Hereford averaged over 2700.

And the lower reaches on non-league football, below Conference National (for us oldies) are awash with other, REAL fallen giants.  Stockport County still average over 3000.  Kiddy, Darlington, and Halifax all average over 1700 for home games.  Made-up clubs such as Fylde and FC United average about the 2000 mark.

Old friends Boston, Telford, Ebbsfleet and Altrincham all average well over 1000 per home match, even though Alty are rock bottom and about to join us at our lowly level next season their fans still turn up in good numbers.

When you put our relatively paltry gates against these clubs where does our incredible sense of entitlement come from?  Let's not deceive ourselves.  We are where we are for a reason.  We are not good enough to be higher.  We've all under-performed this season.  All of us.  As a club, from top to bottom.  Lumping all the blame on Marcus is simplistic in the extreme.

When we stop blaming Marcus, or Imraan or Latimer Park, and start turning up in the sort of numbers that comparable clubs do, we may start dragging our way back up the divisions.  If appreciable numbers of our "supporters" are waiting for Conference football or a shiny new ground before they deign to commit themselves again, there's every possibility this day will never happen.



Plenty of room for more supporters.....
 




Wednesday, 12 April 2017

You have to feel for Corby? Surely?

Poor old Corby.

They dominated for 85 minutes against a very heavy-legged, one-dimensional Poppies, who only came to life for the last 10.

A Poppies team that determinedly refused to use the fine, flat playing surface lovingly prepared for them by Paul Knowles and team. Instead they continued to play in the whole-hearted manner adopted at bobbly Latimer Park, where merely getting rid of the ball into the night sky constituted a passing game.

Poor Corby fans who had to shunt and grunt across the county in a double-decker bus - known to be the most uncomfortable of vehicular conveyances.  Not only that, but they were kept waiting in the car park on said double-decker until we had celebrated and slowly made our way back to our coach.

And after all that, the final salt in the wound came from the Poppies equaliser, which was painfully offside.  Both of Rene's shots last night dribbled ineffectually in the vague direction of the goal.  His penalty was easily saved, but, thankfully, Aaron was, ahem, well placed to roll Rene's effort into the net, and get us back into a game we were never really in.

But, it's all in the past now.  No-one (other than Paul White who surely should be drug-tested) was especially bothered about the outcome.  Best of luck to Corby for their upcoming, far more important games, and hopefully the Poppies players can keep their minds off their forthcoming beach holidays for just three more games!

Level?  Level-ish......







Sunday, 9 April 2017

It's not ALL my fault!


Every time I want to fill PATGOD with positive images like
Liam using his feet rather than his mouth.....

....people like Brett Cowen just HAVE to send me some up-to-date
shots from down Irthlingborough way.

And then I just HAVE to post them here.....

...in glorious colour.  All of them.




Damn him and his high-end camera phone!



Monday, 27 March 2017

A sunny day in Cinderford

As this season drifts sleepily towards its conclusion (only another month to go!) here’s a little scene from Saturday’s trip to Cinderford.  James B putting in another good shift on the left flank, watched by a crowd that Donald Trump would probably describe as “yuge”.  In the distance, Wales. Not every day you can see two countries whilst taking in a game. Or go back 40 years, which is my impression of a brief tour of Cinderford town centre.


But it was a nice day and good views of the action could be had from the steep grass banks on two sides. I particularly enjoyed the performance art of one young supporter, who spent most of the second half trying to decide what to do with the little flag he had brought with him. When I say little, it was like a tea towel on a stick. First he tried to spread it out on the bank, but there was a bit of a breeze and it wouldn’t lie flat.  Then after about 15 minutes of that he began experimenting with resting the stick on top of a wall, only to find it wouldn’t balance.  By this point I was gripped.  Something happened on the pitch so I was momentarily distracted.  On looking back he had gone with plan C, back to the grass bank but this time sitting on one side of the flag to try to pin it down. Even that failed to work completely.  What now?  Just when all seemed lost, Brighton banged one into the net and the boy had a brainwave.  Wave the flag!      

As I say, only a month to go…

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Mmmm - How are things progressing down the A6?


Unless we're much mistaken, this looks
an awful lot like "two down, and two to go".

C'mon guys!  No slacking off!  We want to see
just fields and brambles before the Summer!


Thanks to Matt for the photograph.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Marcus paying the price for Poppies malaise

Some of our fans really need to get a grip.  We're not going up this season.  You know, most clubs in this division aren't.  Some are going to lose out in play-offs.  Some are going to bumble along to a mid-table finish.  Others are going to fight hard to avoid relegation.  A few teams will even BE relegated.

You know what?  These things happen.  It's called FOOTBALL.

Do some of our increasingly boring, teeth-gnashing fans believe every single season since 1872 has been unparalleled success and wall-to-wall brilliance?

Whenever I hear or read phrases like "worst ever game" or "worst ever season" I really do worry about the mentality of some people.  Six years ago we were regularly shipping several goals a game in front of barely three figures, with players moving at barely walking pace, and goalkeepers not diving just in case an injury leads to their next move falling through.

Since escaping Non Park, and limping through that season split between there and Steal Park, we have been building again year on year.  Play-off followed by promotion.  Followed by falling just short of the play-offs again.  Each season showed improvement.

And now this season has seen us plateau, and some fans are absolutely losing their sh*t!  Is it what any of us want?  Of course not.  Is it the end of Western civilisation as we know it?  Of course it bloody well isn't.  Not that an outsider would realise this if they read what some of the shrieking bile our young and not-so-young supporters are spouting after every defeat, and sometimes even after the wins!

No wonder Ritchie is looking to take more of a back seat!


Thursday, 2 March 2017

Hey, what's occurring in East Northants today?



Despite the weepy, hand-wringing of a
few Scum-apologists, the joyful destruction of
Non Park continues.

Albeit too slowly for our taste. 

Latimer Park - home of the Stars



Big congrats to Poppies steward Justin Lovegrove as 
he won a pair of Brits last week.  He won the Critics Choice
and British Breakthrough Awards at a glittering
event at London's O2 Arena.

I'm sure it's no coincidence that his official absence 

at the next Poppies game coincided with a bunch 
of our teenage keyboard warriors bottling, 
big-time, the opportunity of becoming actual warriors.




In the meantime, Gregory Porter remained stoic
in the face of being passed over again for his
album, "Take Me To The Alley". 




Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Meanwhile, in Irthlingborough....

(c) Alison Bagley
Far too many people are focusing on the waste of a relatively new and supposedly well-appointed football ground.

All I can think of is, have I left it too late to apply for a job as a crane driver?

Monday, 27 February 2017

Today's action from Non Park



One down.....


 


....although some of the neighbours seem
happy with developments! 

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Today's update from the Land that Time Forgot


You keep snapping them.
I'll keep including them!

Whilst reminiscing about our former beloved home of Non Park, the question that has occurred to me from time is how and when did the ground become de-Poppied?  Let me explain further.  During our all-too-long purgatory on the banks of the Nene, the letters KT replaced RD on many surfaces, walls and even seats.  As if constantly reading our club's name would in some way convince us we were still in Kettering!

Shortly after we'd escaped from the Planet of the Apes I saw a photograph of the away end and someone had taken the time and effort to remove the "K" and "T" seats from that stand.  Did we do this?  Keith Cousens?  The ghost of R&D FC?  And why do it?  Who was it going to bother as the place rotted away?  Did someone think it would put off the next owners?

I have to assume one of the KTFC logos on the side stands is the one now at Latimer Park, but did we remove other Poppies related signage into storage, or did someone else take it upon themselves to whitewash this shameful spell from our history?  I'm not particularly bothered.  Just curious.

Tune in again tomorrow for more views of Max's folly being raised to the ground!

Friday, 24 February 2017

Meanwhile, on the banks of the Nene....



Sometimes dreams DO come true

Right or Wrong? Right - obviously!

I scared the Missus today by announcing I'd perpetrated an act that could easily be considered to one of vandalism at Kettering library.  However, her dismay turned to delight when I showed her what I'd actually done.

Nestled among flyers for local events and services were a bunch of flyers from AFC Scum!  At Kettering library!  For real!  I went from shock to disbelief to anger in rapid steps.  What the hell were these doing here - in Kettering?  In a library?  Children could have seen them!  The f**king nerve of those inbred bastards!

I scooped them all up for "recycling."  Unfortunately being glossy, I couldn't use the disposal usage that first sprang to mind.  Never mind.  The official fortnightly Council collection would have to suffice.  Maybe they would be pulped and re-used for something more useful.  Such as an airline sickbag.



Amusingly, for a club that is happy to be the bastard
offspring of R&D FC - the club that did more to wreck the genuine
non-league game than anyother club, the flyer warns that kids
shouldn't be brought up believing football is a TV programme.

No it's not.  It's also not a rich man's hobby.  Not that this
bothered them when Uncle Max's millions poured in.

Having now calmed down a bit I find I'm less annoyed with the activities of "Scum-lite" than I am with the Poppies.  Why aren't OUR flyers and fixtures being displayed at Kettering library?  And Burton library?  And Desborough library.  And Rothwell library.  And, just as soon as anyone there can read, Rushden library?

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Be Careful What You Wish For......

"Thanks" go to Richard Atkinson for reading the previous blog and linking us to footage from Wembley '79.

Great day, but -

It still hurts.....


Still, there's always these -

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Monday, 20 February 2017

Instant Replay

On Saturday, Hall scored our only goal with a gentle half volley that willo-the-wisped into the goal after tenderly kissing the underside of the crossbar.

Nothing unusual about that.  Ten minutes after getting home I watched the goal again as a Poppies fan had chosen to record that attack on his mobile phone, and then load the footage onto the internet.

The clip may still be here -

What a Cracker!

Leaving aside the expert camera-phone work - no wobble, and he sticks with the ball all the way to and from Hall's foot and into the net, Also glossing over the ridiculously good quality of the footage - since when did camera phones become so good (alternatively -  how ridiculously old and technology unsavvy am I?)  And, not ignoring for a moment Clive Shackleton's astute commentary, I can't believe I'm the only person who is amazed by the advances in technology that allows this to happen?

Week in, week out, whether it's Poppies TV, or a beery Terrace God with a mobile; for the price of an internet connection, we are treated to seeing Poppies goals on demand.  Whether it's Liam shooting from the edge of Finedon, or Rene scoring with a part of his body (as opposed to simply being the closest Poppies player when an own-goal is scored), we can settle back and bask in front of Poppies goal-glory.

We've become used to such coverage.  It's part and parcel of modern football, But you don't have to go back many years when such visual entertainment would have been seen as witchcraft.  Nothing more, nothing less.

I saw Rene Howe's recent winner at Hayes & Yeading, filmed from 2 different angles.  Which is one more angle that I've seen Robbie Cooke's goal at Charlton, or Phil Brown's great goal at Blackburn.  Famous goals from our history, where thousands of us roared with delight, generated less actual footage than a nothing league game in front of a few hundred bodies.

What about the Poppies at Wembley in 1979?  I've never seen any film from that game.  The largest ever grouping of Poppies supporters in history and I've seen more video from our last game away at North Greenford United from a couple of seasons ago, although this may be mainly because I recorded it!