Sunday, 30 December 2018

The Ghost of Christie Past

At a time of year when thoughts often turn to days gone by, the trip to Bedworth pulled a late present out of the stocking with the substitute appearance of Iyseden Christie, a full decade after the well upholstered, much travelled front man’s career arc first intersected with Kettering Town. 

Even then we assumed he was getting on a bit, probably based on a thinning top and a not so thinning middle.   

So what must he be now – 46? 44? Actually, it seems, 42. But a bit larger in the waist band, judging by a pair of shorts that could accommodate Rhys in each leg or, put another way, enough material to construct a small marquee.  

Once I’d overcome my shock that he was still playing, I had to admire the fact he was still playing, well into his third decade since a single appearance in the Prem for Coventry. Why would you keep going, at ever decreasing levels of the game, unless you have an overwhelming need for the competitive buzz it still gives you.  It certainly can't be for the money and fame.  During his evident mission to appear for every reasonably senior non-League club within a 40 mile radius of Coventry, we twice welcomed Iyseden to our colours and it’s fair to say he made his mark both times, first with the winner at Lincoln then gifting us almost our last positive moment at Nene Park. Including the season and a bit we actually played there.

Plus one of the more indisputable red cards, which he earned for bundling an Oxford player over the wall next to the Social Club at Rockingham Road, causing minor soft tissue injury and a small amount of structural damage.  The referee probably had no option, but in Christie’s defence, when a large sub planetary object attains critical mass, the other guy had better get out of the way.
Iyseden, we still can't spell your name without a couple of near misses, but we salute you, your dedication to the game, and for giving inspiration to middle aged fatties everywhere.  


Friday, 28 December 2018

The Hol(tz)man effect

Couple of points upfront: -

1. Dan Holman is not solely to blame for our dip in form - his name just fitted the title best.
2. Yes, I'm a bit of a SF nerd, which I've managed to hide pretty well for over 1100 posts!  If you don't recognise the reference, well, look it up.  I'm not doing all the work for you!

I think it's fair to say that our season splits into two distinct phases.  Before Dan Holman, and after Dan Holman.  Again, this is absolutely no reflection on Dan, as he has personally played well and hit the net a few times.

Rather, he is a handy dividing point between the two Poppies styles of play this season.  For the first dozen or so games the team played an incredibly fluid style that opposition teams simply couldn't live with.  This style was in many ways forced upon us by the lack of striking options.  With Rhys as a sole front man, our midfield of Kelly, Richens and Meikle, augmented by overlapping fullbacks Storer and Kelly-Evans completely flummoxed opposing defences.  They had no idea where the next attack was coming from, or who to try to pick up.  This middle five then formed a pretty unbreakable barrier the few times the opposition had the temerity to launch an attack themselves.  I think it's fair to say that this style of play was mostly forced upon us by the personnel available to our management team than any great masterstroke of training ground brilliance by them.  But boy.  It certainly worked.

Then we started to acquire strikers.  I fully appreciate it may sound incredibly ungrateful to bemoan the acquisition of players of the quality of Holman, Cunnington, and the returning O'Connor, but their shoe-horning into the team has heralded our stuttering over recent weeks.  Each of these gentlemen would stroll into any team in this division, and perhaps even the division above, and I won't blame just them for our dip in form.  They are strikers.  Selfish, greedy goal-hounds by nature.  That's their job.

I won't be so cruel to call it "a dip in form", more our "dip in invincibility" is the fault of Marcus and his management team.  They seem so blinded by having such an enviable attack, that all the good things we were doing a few weeks ago have been forgotten.

Instead of a together team of infinite attacking and defending permutations we have reverted to a staid, very obvious formation.  "These are our large number of strikers, please mark them.  This is our overrun midfield, please pass through them.  This is our suddenly exposed defence, please score past them."  There is no more over-lapping forward play.  Good players are looking exposed and tentative.

Worst of all, opposing teams have picked up on our staid formation, and sudden confusion in roles, and are seriously out-working us.  They know that giving us no room and closing us down is killing us as an attacking force.  This is how Stamford, Redditch, St Ives (FFS!), and Banbury have got the better of us in recent weeks.  And let's be honest, had games against Royston, Rushall and Bedworth gone against us too, we couldn't have many grounds for complaint.

Bedworth in particular should have been a wake-up call to the management team.  We were bossed for 85 minutes by a team without a single win this season.  And if it wasn't for the fact that Iyeseden Christie's arse had inadvertently wandered into an offside position in the last couple of minutes, we would've left Bedworth with a solitary point.

With games against a resurgent Kings Lynn and a bitter AFC Scum-lite coming up I really hope we don't withdraw further into siege mentality, with aiming for Cunnngton's head our only method of relieving the invited pressure.  Come on Marcus.  We have quality through the team, and not just the marquee forwards.  Time to let it shine again?

Sunday, 16 December 2018

Bouncing Back. Again.

  • We could all see it.
  • The Banbury supporters could all see it.
  • The Banbury management could see it.
  • The distressed Banbury lady who chose to walk her young children up and down in front of the Poppies fans until she could take umbrage at the, admittedly, over-the-top swearing.  She could see it.  As could her scarred-for-life offspring.
  • The Banbury troll who deliberately twisted abuse of a goalkeeper who happened to be black, to sound like abuse of a goalkeeper BECAUSE he was black.  He could see it.
  • The matchday officials could see it.
  • The stewards could see it.
  • Half awake passengers on the 2.35PM from Kings Cross could see it.
  • Shoppers at Banbury Christmas market could see it.

It seems that only Marcus can't see that playing three out and out strikers isn't working, and worse still, is exposing the defence - hence the hundreds of goals we've shipped in the past month.

It's telling that even though Dan Holman has been with us only a few weeks, the formation that allows him and all our other strikers to start together, means that other than the Leiston defeat, he's been around for every other defeat this season.  (I am cunningly including his time at Aldershot for the purposes of making a point....!)

Click here to see if you were at the same game - 

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Bouncing Back

The saying that runs along the lines of, "It's not about how many times you fall, it's how many times you get up", has been attributed to many people.  Whether you believe it was General George Custer, presumably some time before Little Big Horn, or, indeed Rhys Hoenes during the first 10 games of this season, then sentiment is true.

Despite our excellent start to this season, our last 4 home league games read a very poor lost 2, drawn 1, won 1.  So, suddenly, we face a home game against lowly opposition and everyone's calling it a "Must Win" fixture.  It's not exactly a relegation haunted mid-April 6-pointer, but there's truth in this statement too.  Anything but a convincing victory is going to make the rest of this division think we are there for the taking.  A month ago they had resigned themselves to competing for the play-off placings, and now they can see serious chinks in our armour.  I'm not sure if it's an actual saying, particularly as I've just made it up, but everyone knows - "No-one who gets spanked by St Ives deserves to get promoted"  We are now in the chasing pack's sights, but our fate is still in our hands.

Players used to look like men,
not skinny-latte drinking,
skinny-jeans wearing,
hipster beard-wearing,

(c) kappasports
A lot of us oldsters have been comparing this season's start with the 1990-91 season when we went the first 15 games unbeaten until Wycombe thumped us 5-1.  We ended that season a distant 4th behind Barnet, despite being 10 / 15 / 20 / 25 point clear top at Christmas.  The total number of points clear depends on who you ask, and how much they've had to drink....

In the Wycombe bar after the game (the lengthy queue to leave the ground's car park via a single track still haunts me) I made one of only a few ever approaches to a Poppies player and asked Dougie Keast what we were going to do in our next game (a home fixture with recent Football League expelees, Colchester United). 

Dougie gritted his jaw and growled, "We'll have to pull our socks up", which honestly sounded more threatening and definite from Dougie, then it reads here.  I had a sense that he had been quite vocal with his teammates about our abject display in the changing room just a few minutes earlier.  I also had the sense not to ask him anything else!

Well, the following game, Dougie was as good as his word.  Socks were indeed raised.  We beat Colchester in front of over 5000 at Rockingham Road.  Not only that, Dougie scored the only goal with the sort of thumping drive that only thighs of his girth can deliver.  He then spotted me in the crowd, and pointed me out, making sure everyone knew the goal was both dedicated to and inspired by me.

OK, that last sentence was a complete lie, but then again we were never 20 points clear at the top of the league either, so, ya-boo sucks to you!

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Diamonds get a place of their own

Great to hear that Inbreds 2.0 have acquired their own plot of land to build a new ground, just off the A6 near Higham.  Anything we can do, they can do… better?  We’ll see. Wonder which of us will be relocating first. 

Obviously there will be various obstacles along the way for both clubs. In addition to the usual planning and other matters, Diamonds will also have to address the fears of some of their support, who will be far from happy at the prospect of having to continue to cross the Nene.  Irthlingborough folk will require assurances that the troll who lives under the bridge has bought into the new proposal by agreeing not to eat them.

Plus there are concerns that the new site may not have been used for animal sacrifice and other pagan practices.

The quest for a new home apparently ends a long search and is the fulfilment of a dream.  That’s wonderful, even though it has to be said that there are things in my fridge that are older than AFCD.

It’s difficult to play the “years of hard work” card when you have a shorter history than Snapchat.

I’m guessing that when the plans for Cyclops Meadow are made public they’ll be keen to go down the sustainable route when it comes to building materials. Partly because it boosts their attempts to detoxify the Diamonds brand, and partly just aping that Forest Green hippy and his eco stadium made entirely of renewable trees and tofu.  So ok, in that case here's an idea. Recycled plastic.

Helps to save the planet and goes to the very heart of what the club is all about....  

If you build it they will come. So long as this guy plays ball.    

Cup Fever

And we’ll really shake them up
When we win the City Insurance Services Limited Challenge Cup!

This morning there is only one question on the lips of all Poppies fans – namely how many more rounds of this bloody thing can there be?  It only started with 22 clubs so we must at least be in the semis by now. Or the final.  Maybe we’ve already won it.

It’s kind of amusing that in a season when the management team made noises about not letting the FA Cup or Trophy be a distraction from the main business of winning the league, we can’t get ourselves knocked out of the Noddy Cup and look like going all the way!

Looking forward to that open top bus tour already.

Thursday, 29 November 2018

It used to be easy coming from Kettering Part Two

The men of Kettering have never had to measure up to much.  We just had to be brighter than men from Wellingborough, and more English than the men from Corby.  Neither were much of a problem.  We certainly didn't have to worry about other men from Kettering ever achieving anything in life of any consequence, so we never had to push ourselves.

Then the cracks started to appear in our united front of mediocrity. 

Successful Kettering Ginge
There are only twenty men in the country who can lay claim to be Managers at a Premier League Club.  Of those only SIX* are English!  Of those six, one of the buggers just happens to be a Kettering lad!!!  Not only has Sean Dyche overcome the obvious drawbacks of being both ginger and from Kettering, he even went to Henry Gotch FFS!.  This man just keeps overcoming seemingly insurmountable hurdles.  Thanks for making the rest of us look crap Sean.  Thanks a bundle.

If Sean was alone in achieving success despite coming from Kettering all might be OK.  But, no he's not alone anymore is he? 

Successful Kettering Non-Ginge
Kyren Wilson is one of the top snooker players in the world.  That's "The World".  Not just one of the best players at the Windmill or Spot On.  The F**king World!  Not content with chasing the balls around the baize like the rest of us, he actually uses the holes almost constantly.  Bastard.
Successful Kettering Ginge II

So, snooker's out, let's play darts instead.  Whoa...where the hell did Ricky Evans come from?  A professional darts player from Kettering?  How is this possible?  I assumed we only played "Round the Clock" in Kettering.  But, no.  Ricky really exists, looks a bit gingery and wins matches on the telly!  Madness.

It's not funny.  And, coincidentally, nor is James Acaster.  A third bloody ginge from NN16 who is making far too good a career as a stand-up comedian.  Considering his entire act is based on wearing beige and being from Kettering he really is doing far better than he ought! 

Successful Kettering Ginge III
Even though most sane people still cringe through his regular appearances on "Mock the "Week" there's no arguing with his impact.

Hopefully that's all for now, and once these guys fade into the background again we can all safely go back to being anonymous people from an anonymous place again.

*correct at the time of writing....

Friday, 23 November 2018

Another Vicious Rumour!

We, at Patgod Towers are absolutely devastated to hear some people believe we've lost our edge!  They are suggesting middle-age and comfort have in some way doused the fire in our bellies.  Some point to the way we used to challenge the club at every turn and hold the mighty to account, and suggest we are now more interested in being in the sponsors lounge and hob-nobbing with the very people we used to pillory.

This couldn't be further from the truth!  We're still vital.  We're still setting the agenda.  We're still cutting edge and relevant.  We'll never back down from challenging those in power and holding them to a higher standard.

That said, we've sure had some pretty skies and sunsets at recent games, haven't we?

Ahh, Needham Market!
Ooh, Stamford!

And, not forgetting....

Ooh, Rocky Road.  Sniff.

Sunday, 18 November 2018

A Vicious Rumour

Well are sure it is nothing more than
a baseless falsehood, but we've heard that
this object may be of use again very shortly.

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Cash in the Attic

The accepted wisdom in our division is that the Poppies are wildly over-spending to try to win the league.  Those "in the know" know that our promotion push is costing the lofty, and conveniently neat total of £10,000 per week.  And that was before Dan Holman signed for us, so God alone knows what our rivals consider our weekly budget now?  £20,000?  £50,000?

Money and non-league football have always been uneasy bedfellows.  We know this more than most.  Imraan's attempt at buying footballing immortality went far beyond the income the Poppies could have possibly generated.  His Poppies adventure that saw us briefly at the top of the Conference before plummeting three divisions in a little over 12 months won't soon be forgotten.  This is the main reason I don't believe we will ever go down the road of utter unsustainability again.  A number of the fans who fought tooth and nail behind the scenes to rescue us from our Non Park / Steal Park Season of Hell are now in positions of authority within the Club, and on the Management Board.  There's simply no way they would allow us to slither down that same path.

Money does remain a thorny issue though.  Several years ago, when the club set-up an online fund to raise 20K towards getting us out of the Non Park lease, which was about to throttle the life out of us, the total was quickly secured by fans of the Poppies as well as other clubs.  Even though the majority was raised from amongst our own ranks, every Kettering fan will always be grateful for the contributions from supporters of other clubs.  We survived.  We rebuilt.  We settled at Latimer Park.  We started to fight back.  A heart-warming story you'd think?  Except for a handful of opposition supporters, who, seemingly believed that because they chipped a few quid towards our survival that the Poppies would never sign another good player, or ever dare to try to win promotion!  Presumably we should have just been grateful for ever and looked forward to annual visits to North Greenford United for the remainder of time?

What funds non-league clubs generate usually go towards the playing staff.  They have to.  An army of volunteers help fill most of the other roles around the club.  Do some of our rivals imagine the Poppies are any different in this respect?  There also seems to be some kind of "Badge of Honour" in being seen to have a small playing budget, but this is usually by clubs that have very few fans - Mmmm, I think I've solved that one.....!

Our loudest finance detractors really should know better though.  The hollow piousness of the AFC Scum-lite fans simply takes my breathe away.  As we all know, they've re-formed as some sort of people's utopia of footballing democracy.  And like any reformed addict, the are ball-breakingly zealous when it comes to pontificating on other club's assumed budgetary shortcomings!

AFC Scum-lite spend so much time voting on the colour of their underwear, and polishing their pennies that they have conveniently forgotten the pivotal role their former incarnation played in destroying the ethos of the non-league game.  Non-league had jogged happily along for more than a century, paying part-time wages, sticking a few extra quid in the socks of the start players, having moderate floodlights and drinking bovril.

And then Uncle Max had a dream, and (for a while) the bank balance to back it.  Just how a village team built a multi-million pound stadium, bought players for six figure sums, and had a full-time squad at this level are minor historical details that Direones supporters fans rapidly gloss over as they lecture the rest of football about the merits of their all-inclusive, East-Northants Soccer Soviet.

Their hypocrisy is truly breathtaking.  Let's be in no doubt, by setting themselves up as AFC Rushden & Diamonds they are honouring their former incarnation, who did so much harm to the "part-time" game.  For them to re-use the most despised moniker in football, while lecturing everyone about their financial prudence, serves nothing other than to grind the gears of every other non-league fan.

Saturday, 3 November 2018

It used to be easy coming from Kettering Part One

It used to be easy coming from Kettering, it really was.  There was never any pressure on any of us to achieve anything.  Keep your head down and shuffle through life without causing a ripple.  Just like everyone else who has ever come from this town.

Sure, very occasionally an individual from our fair borough managed to achieve a crumb of fame in the outside world - I'm looking at you, Knibb!  But, by and large us Kettering folk weren't expected to invent something, or discover something, or do anything but live reassuringly anonymous lives.  Back in the days of the printed Patgod, we devoted endless pages to just how comfortably bland everyone from the NN15/16 area was.  Happy days.
Stop being so bloody talented!

But then, some strange occurrences, well, occurred.

One day there wasn't Faryl Smith.  The next day there was.  She rocketed to singing fame even
though she was one of us!  Even the Poppies' best attempt to crush her spirit by mauling her attempt at signing ahead of our FA Cup Third Round tie with Eastwood didn't set her back.  She shrugged off our paltry efforts at sabotaging her burgeoning career, and, despite the handicap of being from our neck of the woods she became unremittingly successful.  She was genuinely famous.  She sold records. She was on the telly.  Unlike the rest of us tone-deaf local dolts, she could carry a tune.  And she came from Kettering.

But that was OK.  Faryl alone could be seen as a blip.  Knibb and Smith.  Two blips in over a thousand years of recorded local history.  We could take that.  There was still no pressure on the rest of us to be better.  Phew.  What a relief.

Oi, Hull!  No!!!
And then Charley Hull appeared.  We suddenly had a world famous sportsperson born out of our low-functioning local DNA.  Obviously it's only golf she plays, but for the love of God, she's world famous at it, and hails from the Holy City!  How have we allowed this to happen again? 

Don't the like of Smith and Hull realise the enormous pressure they put the rest of us under?  None of us have to be world-class, because people from Kettering aren't meant to be world-class.  We are all middling at the very best, and dammit, we were content with being middling.  And now these two have proved that the rest of us from Kettering are basically sh*t.

But let's not panic.  It's just the two girls doing their thing.  Us chaps don't have to worry about being any bloody good, do we?  I mean, it's not as though there'll be, say, a famous comic, snooker player and dart players hailing from Poppies-land anytime soon........

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Enough of the niceness, already!

When did football become so "nice?"

My tweeness threshold has been well and truly passed in the wake of our defeat at Aldershot in the FA Cup.  Their fans hated Woking.  Our fans hated Woking.  And sang each other songs to that effect.  And then applauded each other.

Post match you couldn't find an Aldershot fan who didn't think we were a credit to our league (whatever league it was), and thought we gave a good account of ourselves, and on another day might have forced a draw, etc etc.  Our support was more numerous and more noisy than most teams they play, blah, blah.  We should win our league at a canter......

In return our fans thanked theirs for the hospitality, and spent more time shaking hands with the home fans than watching the game.

What's wrong with all you people!!!

What's wrong for a bit of verbal rough and tumble?  What's wrong with picking on an opposition player for absolutely no reason and abusing him in a cruelly ironic way for 90 minutes?  Or single out an opposing supporter for a bit of brusque banter?  Or singing a song about the opposition Manager's bags of sweets and cheesy smile?

I didn't hear one bloody chorus of "Shit ground....!", or "In your Aldershot slums... (mind you, that one hasn't been heard since 1981).  And no one was threatened with getting a lift home in a Kettering (or, strictly speaking, a North Hampshire NHS Foundation Trust Ambulance) ambulance.

When did we all become so bloody meek?!?!

Mind you, the pitch was the best I've ever seen, the steward I spoke to was absolutely darling, and their second goal was a thing of beauty.......

Look at that pitch!  God, I'd have loved to have got Aldershot back to
Latimer Park if only to see them try to play on our surface!

Monday, 15 October 2018

The Aldershot Connection

So Aldershot, we meet at last.  We didn’t quite get to know each other when you were the original phoenix club, working your way back up the pyramid. By the time we had made it back into the Conference, you’d gone a step further, and by the time you dropped back, we had fallen down a rabbit hole. 

But though we’ve never met there is a connection that we’d probably both rather not talk about.  Does the name Brian Talbot mean anything?  Thought so. You sacked him not long before the old club folded and he next popped up at our place, providing a short lived cover story for his ‘business partner’ Mark English. Maybe that name also rings a bell.  It was a long time ago but I’m pretty sure he was also sniffing round the old Aldershot near to the end, probably trying to figure out how many of his relatives he could get on to the payroll, and the likely benefit if he siphoned off the bar takings.

Ah happy days.  In a where are they now, we’re happy to reveal that after that brief spell at Kettering, Brian Talbot spent several years taking part in a controlled experiment to establish the lowest IQ it is possible to own whilst mastering simple hand tools and promoting a plastic vanity project to the Football League.  He now works as a scout and is close to acquiring his woodcraft badge.  Mark English, meanwhile, still lives in Essex and is keen to return to football once his 99 year FA ban expires.       

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Klondike (and Race Night) Watch Part 5

Another home fixture and another hundred away from the winning Klondike number.  I managed to compound last week's gambling misery with an evening at the Trust / Dylan Cecil Memorial Race Night, which offered me an opportunity to lose an even thicker wedge of my disposable income.

An opportunity, you won't be surprised to hear, I duly took.

As much as I bemoan my abject lack of any sort of good fortune with our beloved half-time draw, even a jaded grouch like me wouldn't begrudge my (hefty) contribution to such good causes.  Or at least not now I've given it a week before commenting.....

Saturday, 6 October 2018

Lest we forget

Six years ago to the day, ten footballers representing Kettering Town FC slunk off the pitch at Non Park after a 7-0 defeat to Bashley in front of just over 300 people.  It was less a game of football than a 90 minute open-air wake for the football club we loved.  To all intents and purposes that was it for the Poppies.  There was lots of gallows humour, and more than a few tears.  Not only did we think it was all over, it FELT that it was all over.  Curiously, I don't recall any anger or resentment - I guess we were past recriminations by then.

Six years later we are top of the same division we were about to be thrown out of, and a move back to Kettering is on the agenda.  Had this position been offered to any of the 304 in attendance at 4.45pm on Saturday 6th October 2012 every single person would have taken it in a heartbeat.

You know where you were on 6th October 2012, and how you felt.  This is how we felt at the time, and why, in the years that followed we've never quite treated everything Poppies related as a matter of life and death.  Because we were that close to losing everything.

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Klondike Watch Part Four

Well, another big wedge of randomly purchased Klondikes brought me
no closer to my deserved, but long-delayed win.

The news of our future return to Kettering has (slightly) mollified my
ire at the continued inequity, I suppose.  Well played Poppies, well played.

But what are the club going to announce next week to deflect my attention
once again from this on-going miscarriage of lottery-justice?

Two new grounds?

Saturday, 22 September 2018

Is today the beginning of the beginning?

It's not often we get summoned to Latimer Park at a few day's notice to get an update from the club.  Well, ever, actually.  This has led us to fly straight past the "speculation" stage right to the "what shall we name our new ground" stage.  And who could blame us?

The club admit this is an update on the ground situation.  At least a couple of Borough councillors have hinted something about a land sale.  Cllr Michael Brown, who has seemingly waged a one-man war on our behalf with his fellow councillors, has announced he'll be at today's meeting.  People who know nothing about the Poppies give you very specific details about what's going on that they have over-heard.

Well, we'll hopefully all find out at 1.00PM today.   I daren't imagine the reaction if the news is not good.  But let's look on the positive side.  Hard for a Poppies fan, I know.  But let's try?

If there is news about land being made available, closer to the heart of Kettering, it will undoubtedly be brilliant news.  If this is the case, I just hope we all don't get carried away.  A piece of land is a long way and a lot of money away from being a football ground.  Particularly if the piece of land is situated in the Weekly Glebe area as has been suggested many times.  The fields around there have no electricity, gas or sewage connections.  Nor any meaningful access at this time.  And, if all this is overcome, there's no way a second Rockingham Road will rise there (which I fear will disappoint appreciable numbers of supposed-supporters who have stopped coming).  That's not how modern non-league stadiums look.  No-one builds stands that can hold twice their average gates!

But look.  I've managed to get ahead of myself!  Let's see what happens today.  Let's cross everything and get to Latimer Park.  Excited?  You bet.

Today - doggies chasing balls
Tomorrow - Poppies chasing balls?

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Klondike watch part 3

For the past few home games I have been very cunningly purchasing my Klondikes from multiple matchday outlets, otherwise known as the table in the clubhouse, and the table in the ground.

By doing this I thought to outfox the efforts of the usually upright club officials, who, seemingly only resort to underhand tactics to prevent me claiming my rightful half-time draw win.

Thus far I need to report that they seem to continue to hold the whip hand, but this race is a (bloody long) marathon, not a sprint.....

Saturday, 15 September 2018

STOP PRESS!!! - Leiston IS a real place!

Not normally one to brag, but I happen to know that Leiston is an actual place, and physically exists.  Not only do I clutch this knowledge protectively to me like a mother Koala bear with her offspring, but I can go one better.....


Having heard of Leiston ahead of them appearing in our division this season would have put me in quite a select group at Latimer Park, but physically having walked their streets must make me an almost unique beast amongst my Poppies peers?

Yes folks, Leiston is real and I have been there, and know it to not be a made-up entity, like Lilliput, Atlantis or Thrapston.  My good lady and I stayed there for a couple of days in the mid-noughties as a kind of Christmas-time romantic getaway.  With the ability to make such grand romantic, moderately-priced, gestures it can be no surprise we are still very much together all these years later.

Some people would gravitate to the painfully obvious "romantic" destinations of Paris, Rome or Barcelona.  But, tell me, what do they have that Leiston in December drizzle doesn't have?  Admittedly I recall nothing of Lesiton other than it was shut, and that the shingle beach coastal walk from Sizewell to Aldeburgh is bloody hard work.  But, still.  I've been to Leiston, and the chances are, you haven't.  So there!

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Brett's Century

We’d like to add our congrats to Brett’s achievement in hitting his hundredth goal for us last weekend. Officially described as ‘first class goals’, a pleasingly old fashioned description which presumably includes goals scored against Oxford and Cambridge Universities and touring sides.  Plus in the BigFreeBet.Com League Challenge Cup.

Thanks to the Records page on the official website, we know that Brett is only the 12th player in our long history to top 100 goals and the first since Roy Clayton in the 70s. Fine company indeed. And wasting no time, he quickly took fresh guard and put away his 101st en route to an inevitable double ton in around 2033.

We might have thought we saw peak Brett when he scored away and home against Notts County to help us on our way in 2008, but that was before the amazing late career flourish that netted 22 as a defender/stopgap midfielder last season. Helped, admittedly, by an incredible penalty conversion rate after we finally realised that under our noses, all these years, was a man with ice in his veins from 11 yards. In fact, had he landed that gig a few years earlier, we might be talking already about a club record.  

Whilst there was a lot of fuss (perhaps fairly) about another centurion in the last few days, something that has been 15 years in the making is a remarkable achievement and perhaps never to be repeated. Well played Brett. 

A failed attempt to steal Brett's limelight

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Why I almost feel sorry for Martin Bellamy

By any measurement of a contented life, Martin Bellamy seems to have it all.

Working at the football club he's always supported, fuelled by as much and as varied beer as he wants, all (presumably) under the benevolent eye of a very understanding spouse.  He knows everyone and everyone knows him, and he uses his belligerent charm in the furtherment of the Poppies.

But, he has a fly in his ointment.  A stone in his shoe.  A floater in his jacuzzi.

Those bloody replica shirts!

Last season he had to make weekly excuses for the incredibly s-l-o-w arrival from the Far East of the replica shirts.  How many different ways could he say, "We're still waiting for them!"

Honestly, it looks good....
Then, this season happened.  At least the replica shirts arrived by a ship powered by engines rather than be paddled across the oceans by a one-armed rower.  Hallelujah.

And then people tried the shirts on.

I'll be the first to admit that not all Poppies supporters are the picture of health and vitality.  Plenty of six-packs, but very few SIX-PACKS, if you get my meaning.  Even so, the new shirts are coming up so small that everyone trying to make a purchase was pretty much needing to add a couple of sizes to their usual requirement.  This is OK when you start as a medium, but what do the rest of us do who, on a good day are an XL, and the other 364 days of the year a smidgen larger?

Martin spent the home game with Bedworth swapping and juggling these tiny shirts to try and keep the punters happy.  And he's got similar days to come for the next few home games.....He must really hate replica shirts!

Friday, 31 August 2018

Stratford - same again please. Mostly.

Whilst the result at Stratford last season
was most welcome, the artic conditions were less so.

Substantially less so.

With a forecast tomorrow of a temperature
somewhere in the region of the early 20 degrees,
we are going to be looking at a, possibly
30 degree swing in temperatures between
last season's game and this.

I'm sorry, but in a temperate country like ours,
that's just mad.  A bit like Jack.

Sunday, 26 August 2018

Barwell, How? Why?


No bar
No programmes
A double figure gate if we hadn't turned up

Genuinely, how do clubs like this survive?

The FA does FA for the little guys (so what's new?)

This story, which slipped out last week on the Poppies website pretty much sums up what is wrong with the way football is run in this country.

FA f*cks over the Poppies

The bottom line is that the club are no longer permitted to stream live TV games from Latimer Park.  The chances are, this won't affect people who are reading this, as we are more than likely to be at the game, but.....

A couple of years ago the Missus couldn't get to a couple of home games, so used her season ticket to watch the matches.  I've also been away on a Saturday before and managed to stay in touch via my Smart phone and Poppies TV.  You've probably also benefited from this service in the past too?

Let's be clear about what the FA are doing here. They are so scared their precious Premier League and their zillion-pound television contracts will be in some infinitesimal way undermined by a dozen house-bound Poppies fans, or overseas followers enjoying a bit of bobbly kick and rush, that they have taken a ridiculously big hammer to crush a nut that frankly doesn't exist!

The three "reasons" given by the FA for a blanket ban on tiny clubs streaming their games to their tiny support are these: -

1. To ensure spectators are not deterred from attending or participating in amateur or youth matches

Do the FA seriously believe Poppies TV stops anyone from attending live games, or local players from playing football?  Madness!

2.  In parallel to the above, protecting clubs' revenue generated by gate receipts

So, a potential, albeit small, revenue stream is closed off.  The home game against Hereford last season made the club an appreciable sum from away fans who couldn't get up to Northamptonshire from Hereford on a Tuesday night.  Honestly, who loses out?

3. To protect the interests of football within each national association.

What does this actually mean?  How does streaming a game to a house-bound Poppies fan who can't stand for 90 minutes impact upon our National Association?  Could the £8 he has to shell out for the privilege of following his team from home end up costing the FA their lucrative Sky and BT Sport contracts?  Just imagine, if this money disappeared from our National game we could end up with Premiership players having to scrape by on 50 or 60 grand a week rather than 150.  So sad!

Seemingly, as long as the FA can continue to strangle the lower leagues to salve the Big Boys, all to the good!  As long as they can continue to whore out the rights to their precious Premier League to all and sundry why should they care about the minnows in their midst?  Wrong. Wrong.  Wrong.

Friday, 24 August 2018

Lee Hughes & Other Old Rockers

Typical.  You wait years for one ex Premier League player to feature in a Poppies game, then two come along at once. Last Saturday we had the unusual sight of a Halesowen side featuring Lee Hughes, ancient slaphead and former jailbird, showing absolutely none of his ex top flight prowess, complemented by the late introduction of Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, who must be wondering where it all went wrong. Premiership striker in his 20s, coming off the bench six leagues lower in his early 30s. And making that look like a sensible career move.

Whilst this added curiosity value to things, there was a time when it was far from unusual to rock up at a semi pro game and witness an aging star going about his business. This was probably mostly down to money: even at the top level, very few players got rich and most needed to eke out their careers as best they could, even if that meant being kicked by part timers. Plus there were the ones with injury payoffs that prevented them from playing again at a professional level, but still had something to offer or so they hoped – often short lived.   

Finally there was the category of recovering/lapsed alcoholics – see Greaves (Barnet), Best (Dunstable) and almost but not quite Gascoigne (Threshers).          

Over the years we specialised in attracting the services of fading big time players, right back to the marquee signing of Tommy Lawton as player/manager, an event so big it was live on TV in the days of two channels, which must mean that it was watched by a large part of the population with nothing better to do. Derek Dougan was similarly big news – here was a man who not only had played in America against the likes of Pele, he was a regular on the telly as a World Cup pundit. For the first time, Rockingham Road and glamour appeared in the same sentence. Or even on the same page.

Then there was Don Masson, former Scotland captain, who was just passing through, and the Daves Watson and Needham, uncomplicated old rockers who ended their playing days in KTFC pinstriped nylon – slower than in their pomp but giving off enough static to power a small generator.

Plus who can forget the answer to an excellent quiz question: which non League club at the same time boasted a former European Cup winning captain, and Britain’s one time most expensive player?

Can you imagine the equivalent now – John Terry and Andy Carroll? Don’t even go there.
Half the answer to that quiz question
And the other

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Klondike Watch - week 2

9 points from 9.  The only 100% record in the division.  Three straight wins with barely a shot on goal and no striker on the books.  Can't argue with the season so far!

But, on a more important note, the Klondike half-time draw kicked me in the nethers once again.  It's bleeding obvious I'm used to not winning the bloody draw.  What I could do without is seeing the winning Kirk boys whooping with joy upon hearing the numbers.  They celebrated their good fortune right in front of me.  And I mean RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!

Tickets sold - 310
Prize fund - £155.00
My tickets bought - 5
Percentage of total sales - 1.6%

Winning ticket - unknown, but not mine
My closest ticket - probably miles off

Distance from win - immense
Ken Samuel's Smug Quotient as
he fleeces me once more - 95% at least.

Thursday, 16 August 2018

6 points from 6? Good, but....

...more important than the results of our bunch of hard-working, non-striker, dwarfs is the result of the half-time draw.

So, what follows is the first of what (unfortunately) promises to be quite a lengthy series of whinges about my not winning our cursed Klondike Half Time Draw.  I fear fully half of the 1100+ articles on PATGOD touch upon my hate / hate relationship with this particular lottery.  It would get mentioned more, but I don't write every piece.....

This season I'm going to try a more scientific approach to winning the draw.  Too that end, I can report the following about Tuesday's game with Kings Lynn: -

Tickets sold - 400
Prize fund - £200.00
My tickets bought - 4
Percentage of total sales - 1%

Winning ticket - 27479
My closest ticket - 27450

Distance from win - 29
Ken Samuel's Smug Quotient as
he fleeces me once more - 89%

Friday, 10 August 2018

Something to show the kids in years to come

Craig Westcarr getting very close to
breaking into a sweat in a Poppies shirt.

They'll never believe it, but we'll

be able to say "we (almost) saw it...!

Enjoy the bench at Boston.

Wow, this is post 1111 on PATGOD.  One thousand, one hundred and eleven attempts to raise a point, a smile or someone's blood pressure.  And to celebrate, we have David Sheppard doing his party trick.  Mmmm.  I wonder if he's available to play up top for us tomorrow?

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

What's wrong with this picture?

Well, obviously green grass is unusual nowadays, and the fence is new, but, wow, how large has our corner "D" become?

Monday, 30 July 2018

Planning Schmanning

Just thought we'd help out with the new planning application

Thursday, 19 July 2018


Mild mannered by day
Heroic by night

errr...sleeps upside down?

Saturday, 14 July 2018

England - A case of the Emperor's new Waistcoast?

The records will show that our National team reached the semi-final of the World Cup.  If nothing else, it gave us something else to talk about other than the inability of our skies to squeeze out any water this Summer.

Overall the public, punters and the red-tops were happy with England's efforts over the past few weeks.  Pride restored.  Young lions roaring.  Southgate being compared to a root vegetable deferred for a month or two.

But, looking back dispassionately over the Tournament, was our effort really so glorious?  We beat Tunisia at the absolute death.  We beat non-league Panama with a mixture of penalties and flukes.  We needed penalties to overcome Colombia.  Even the relatively easy win over Sweden was summed up by a Man of the Match award for Pickford.

Tunisia / Panama / Colombia / Sweden

All teams we should beat every day of the week.  World Cup or pointless friendly.  Our record when the opposition could actually play football was a little different.

We lost easily to both Belgium's "A" and "B" teams, and were, frankly, swept away by Croatia, who pick from a national population roughly half that of London.

Our lack of goals from open play was perhaps explained by our numbing inability to actually create goal-scoring chances from open play.  Any midfield where Henderson is seen as the star, is always going to be lightweight.  Add to this the "efforts" of the supposed world-class Alli and Sterling, no wonder we were so reliant on the one-dimensional Harry Kane's penalties and the foreheads of our central defenders.

Has the England team improved?  Not sure.  We try to play a more "modern football" game.  With other nations this manifests itself with flowing, attacking football. With us, it seems to be reduced to our lumbering centre backs playing the ball in triangles with each other until getting into trouble and relying on the keeper to boot the ball down the park.

Fourth place?  Beyond our expectations certainly, but, even our most optimistic fan wouldn't claim that we were the fourth best team in the world.

Friday, 13 July 2018

Back Home

So it wasn’t so bad after all. Instead of skulking home wearing dark glasses or with blankets over their heads, England will return from Russia with heads held high and rightfully enjoy their day off before reporting for pre-season training.

It was unexpected, it was fun, it was emotional, it was 20 minutes from being incredible. We saw a side of relatively modest pedigree gel into a good, effective unit that played to its strengths. We marvelled at the size of Harry Maguire’s head. We found ourselves considering the purchase of a waistcoat. We imagined what we would do after the final if we actually bloody won the thing.

Russia put on a great tournament and entered into the spirit of things by not invading any adjoining countries, shooting down airliners or poisoning former spies for the duration. VAR sort of worked and gave the TV commentators something else to chew over.  Overall the punditry was pretty good, though I have heard enough of Alan Shearer’s pub-bore statements of the obvious to last me until at least Qatar 2022. Ian Wright, as always, did not disappoint – transmitting exactly the right amount of passion and lunacy. Perhaps it’s just as well we didn’t go all the way. He would literally have died of joy.

But life must go on and already the first friendly of the new season is here. Westcarr and Kelly are coming home. Not quite the home they remembered, but just wait until we have our big new fence. Trump couldn’t build that wall – we can!

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Never again. Seriously, never again

Two visits to Latimer Park to watch England play.

The first was Iceland in the Euros....
The second was tonight against Croatia....

Never again.

I don't care what Martin says to tempt me a third time.

Never again.

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Sam's famous miss!

And there you have it folks.  

THAT miss. In all of its glory. 

The missed opportunity against which all the others are measured.  

The miss, which, seemingly was witnessed first hand by more people than have ever attended a fixture at Rocky Road.

Sam Banya came to us with an incredible lower league scoring record, probably from the level we're at now.

My favourite crowd reaction is the guy in the light top, to the right of the goal who has to turn to a friend for a consoling hug and, I daresay, a few tears.

Sh*t, that's not me is it!!!!

Sunday, 24 June 2018

KTFC Chat melts down for the umpteenth time

The announcement by Gary Mulligan that he has quit the Poppies for retirement at Steal Park has almost broken the internet.  Well, the little bit of internet in the NN15/6 postcode area.

Hot on the heels of the recent vague rumours the club hadn't paid players / backroom staff, and a couple of players have signed for other clubs, that had the KTFC Facebook page trembling with tearful indignation, the departure of Gary seems to have sent us over the top.  A kind of mass psychosis has afflicted normal supporters as well as the usual knee-jerk fringe.

In the real world this has happened: -

  • Four players, so far, have decided to move to pastures new. 
  • A lot of the backroom staff (who we never gave a seconds thought to while they were here) have left. 
  • A couple of long-ago former club employees have made incredibly vague noises online.

In KTFC Chat world the same events are resonating more like this: -

"If I knew I'd have caused all this fuss
I'd have kept quiet!  To be sure!"

  • AAAAAGH!  Everyone has left the club!!!
  • Law has sacked all the players!!!
  • Law Out!!!
  • Richie Out too!!!  If he's still involved.  And if he isn't, WHY NOT!!!!
  • People are leaving because no one's been paid!!!
  • If Mulligan's leaving so is Brett, and so am I!!!
  • None of the Board members can be trusted!!!
  • Is Imraan's back!?!?
  • Why haven't we signed anyone? (Even though we know players can't be registered yet!)
  • Why are we buying fence panels when we are sacking all the players?!?!
  • Where's our new ground!?!?
  • We loved the club 5 minutes ago, and now we hate it with a passion beyond rational thought!!!
  • 'Ent gooing agen!!!

It's Summer.

England are doing well at the World Cup*.

Any danger of us all chilling?

*all information correct at the time of writing.....

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

England's dreaming?

So are you gripped by World Cup fever yet?  Is the wallchart ready for its first entry?  Three Lions echoing round your head?  Giant flag dangling from the front bedroom window?  Fridge fully stocked with goodies?

Only one of the above?

Following England through tournaments does this to you. From “here we go!” and the golden generation to "here we go again" in, er, a generation. Absolutely no one is predicting we’ll win it or even get close. It comes to something when the Sun sends the boys off with the rallying cry

So at long last we have a realistic view of the team’s prospects, which fits very well with sensible, realistic Gareth and his style of management, very much the thoughtful new teacher in charge of a bunch of unruly teens and gradually persuading them to stop bringing knives into the classroom. 

The new England might not have the big names of previous years but they are comfortable with talking about their feelings. That’s obviously a good thing, and would be even better if those sentiments shortly include how it feels to beat Belgium. Gareth has wrapped an emotional blanket around the troubled Sterling, quite correctly understanding ‘that tattoo’.  Most of us are able to simply make a mental note not to possess an automatic weapon, but Gareth sees it from the player’s point of view and that’s fine. If Sterling can stay on his feet long enough to make a mark on this tournament, he can have a bullet belt inked around his other leg for all we care.

So much rests on Sterling, and obviously Kane. The BBC have included Harry as a central figure in their Soviet-style opening credits for the competition.  That immediately makes me very uneasy.  Last time, I think it was Gerrard, which was harder and harder to take during the many weeks of viewing after we left the party. But there’s that ingrained England pessimism at work again.  One day, surely, on the monkeys with typewriters principle, we will manage not to stink out a World Cup and actually cheer up a nation rather than plunging it into yet more post millennial gloom. This time?  More than any other time, this time?  

England expects...

Monday, 4 June 2018

Linnets Board misses the mark by even further!

For any slight gripe we, as Poppies fans might have about the pricing structure for the forthcoming season, one has to feel for supporters (well, not their pig-ignorant faction perhaps) of Kings Lynn FC.

For Level Seven football Kings Lynn are charging a rather hefty £13.00 entrance fee.  Attending all 21 leagues games next season will cost an adult bumpkin £273.00.  A season ticket will set them back £260.00.  So, for paying out in advance for several months football will save a Linnets fan the grand sum of £13.00.  One "free" game for shelling out £260.00 to their charming Chairman -

Would you buy a used season ticket from this man?


Mind you, can you put a value on not having to queue twice every match, once for a ticket and then 10 seconds later to hand over the ticket you've just bought?

The cost of £260.00 is more than four Championship clubs charged for their cheapest season ticket last season!  That's Level Two football, by the way Mr Cleeve.

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Poppies Board misses the mark

In a decision akin to watching Paul White juggling during a Play-Off Semi-Final our club board has badly fumbled the ball with regards to admittance pricing for next season.  Not across the board though.  No, if you pay on the gate, or reserve a seat, or reserve parking, nothing has changed.  The only difference is we a more manageable league 21 games, rather than the unwieldy 23.

The Board has taken the decision to reflect this reduction in games by reducing the season ticket price by a £15.00, down from £200.00 to £185.00.  So what?  You might ask.

Last season by buying a season ticket you effectively "got in free" to three games over the course of the season if you considered it would cost you £230.00 if you paid on the gate every match.

For 2018-19, a season ticket holder gains just 2 full games for the pleasure of shelling out a thick wedge of cash months in advance, without knowing how many games they might have to miss over the course of a year.  This may seem like a minor thing for anyone who doesn't hold a season ticket, but is enough of a disincentive to make a lot of season ticket holders think they are getting a bit of a rough deal out of the club.

The club can point to the free access to Poppies TV as a selling point for getting a season ticket, and it would be were it not for the fact that the very people unlikely to benefit from this excellent service are the very supporters who are season ticket holders!

Take away this "benefit", and the rest of the advantages of being a season ticket holder are thin on the ground.  First dibs on tickets for big Cup ties held more sway when we actually played big Cup ties. 

The pre-season event at Latimer Park for season ticket holders has, in the past couple of seasons given us a long-winded, and sometimes worrying glimpse into Marcus's psyche, plans for developments at Latimer Park that don't seem to be getting any closer, and a look at a new club shirt that won't be available to purchase for several months.

And that's pretty much it.  But, generally, you don't buy a season ticket for a long list of benefits.  It's usually more to do with convenience, and thinking you're doing your bit to help the club a little.  It just seems unfair that the only reward you get this coming season for paying up front is one less "free" game.

At the end of the day, it's not the fact that all logic would dictate a season ticket price of  £180.00 to keep it in line with the other pricing at the club, that grates.  A fiver one way of the other is not a problem - this is my usual weekly contribution to never winning the Klondike!  It's not the amount.  It's the principle.

A look across what other clubs in this division are doing throws up a lot of interesting season ticketing detail.  Leaving aside money-grabbing Kings Lynn and their "colourful" owner, who probably still believes his club was promoted, there are a lot of good offers out there.

Most clubs offer a cheaper season ticket price than us.  And at most of these clubs you don't end up with more mud on your shoes than the players!  Some clubs offer free admittance to reserve games and pre-season matches as part of the deal.  A lot offer "early bird" discounts (AFC Scum have announced an early bird offer fully £26.00 cheaper than our season ticket (offering fully 5 "free" games) and extending the term "early bird" to it's fullest by extending this offer to mid July!

At a time when our lack of facilities mean we struggle to attract and keep appreciable amount of new or returning fans, punishing the hardest of the hardcore, even in a very slight way, seems like an unnecessary own goal from the club.

Saturday, 26 May 2018

How about this for a thought....

Perhaps less time spent in the tattoo parlour, and more practice catching a football?

Friday, 11 May 2018

Hopefully this will be a team effort.....

As much as we take great pleasure and joy from thoroughly researching our articles on Patgod, sometimes we really can't be arsed.  It's much easier to tag a few lame gags to images we've dragged off the ET website.

Or, as in this case, we are naturally assuming Paul Cooke will chip in with the relevant detail to enable the following paragraphs make some sort of sense.  Hopefully.

Let's talk penalties!

What a season it's been for efforts from 12-yards.  We started the season with Rhys taking on the mantle, scoring [Paul to insert number here] goals, but following a costly miss at Biggleswade, in rapid succession we ran through very moderate efforts from the spot from Rene, missing [Paul to insert number here] Aaron fluffing [Paul to insert number here] and Matt chipping in with [Paul to insert number here].  Each of them basically took penalties like complete drains.  Between all of them we managed to miss [Paul to insert number here] penalties which cost us [Paul to insert number here] points, and an extended FA Cup run. 

Strangely, even though our team was almost genetically incapable of scoring penalties, and Paul White never even goes the right way when facing spot-kicks, we somehow managed to win two penalty shoot outs this season.  Madness.

With opposition teams more than happy to keep giving us penalties, safe in the knowledge that Aaron would hit the goalie, or Rene would not reach the goal, we finally played our Ace in the form or Brett Solkhon.

The penalties kept coming.  Not all won by Rhys........and Brett managed simply hit the ball into the f*cking net, and scored no less than [Paul to insert number here] consecutive spot-kicks, giving him an amazing goal tally this season of [Paul to insert number here].  

During 2017-2018 we were awarded a record number of penalties - [Paul to insert number here].  In terms of total Poppies records, it was the fully [Paul to insert number here] more penalties than we have ever won in a season.  In fact, with [Paul to insert number here] penalties in total we have beaten the world record of [Paul to insert number here] penalties awarded in a season.  Scored by [Paul to insert number here] back in [Paul to insert number here].

Over to you Paul!

Saturday, 5 May 2018

Slough of despond

It was, of course, disappointing and a hard way to end a long campaign - or "journey" as everything seems to be these days. On the night we made too many mistakes, and probably burned too much fuel in the first half trying to get back in the match. It was a bridge too far after an exhausting run of games. There’s not too much more to say about it.  By Monday night, another club will be rueing the freakish nature of this division, where nearly 100 points isn’t enough to guarantee promotion.  Ten years ago, exactly the same total as this season won us the league by 17!

It has been a weird season in so many ways. We’ve grown used to winning by wide margins, along the way discovering that Brett should have started taking penalties as soon as Craig Norman gave up the gig. While Brett was making a late run for the over 35s Golden Boot (golden slipper?), we ended up with a scarcely believable 122 in the league alone.  If this is some kind of record for a team that didn’t go up, it would be a typically Kettering kind of claim to fame, like finishing runners up in the Conference the most times (probably, it sort of feels true). So whilst it would have been good to take the season one game further, there’s a lot to look back on fondly – unless of course you prefer to air your views on social media, in which case the big question is – why hasn’t this dismal showing earned Law the sack?

It was also the season in which the curtain finally fell on Rockingham Road, and we all had to finally move on. Talk continues about a new site in the town.  All we need is for Kettering BC, who own the land, to make a grand community-minded gesture in return for some hard cash. Everyone hold your breath…

If they need any encouragement, they should have sent someone down to Slough to see yet another club benefitting from local council support.  For the umpteenth time since our departure from RR, we looked around an away ground and thought, yeah, we’d take this. I’ve even found myself thinking that at some right old sh*tholes but Slough’s Arbour Park definitely ticks the boxes. Plenty of seating, two covered ends, 4G pitch, outdoor bar and balcony!

And somehow, in the overcrowded south east in a town adjacent to the M4, a main railway line and Heathrow, the local worthies managed to find a site within walking distance of the town centre and resisted the urge to cram in a few two bedroom rabbit hutches or a new warehouse instead. Quite remarkable I think you’ll agree, and obviously an example of the kind of misplaced priorities that you could never accuse KBC of.