Category Archives: Features

The £4 pie at Kidderminster Harriers

The catering outlet at Kidderminster (photo by Sam Elliot)

The catering outlet at Kidderminster (photo by Sam Elliot)


When I go to football games I always like to get a bit of grub at the game, to sample the cuisine offered up at game.

Some clubs have produced some amazing food to match their talents on the pitch (or in some clubs the lack of talent)

Barwell offered me curry, many clubs just offer the normal burger, chips and pies etc. But there is one club that offer the best food ever.

That club is…. Kidderminster Harriers of the Skrill Premier.

The Harriers match day is simply the best on offer in the world of non-league football- the normal burgers and pies are on offer but some amazing stand out offers include the Aggborough soup which is simply amazing on a cold afternoon but heavens knows what is in.

I rather not know, but it taste amazing.

However the one that I love is the Aggborough cottage pie. Priced at £4 the Harriers take some stick over but this is not your normal pie, this is a work of art.

The £4 cottage pie  (photo by Richard Scott)

The £4 cottage pie
(photo by Richard Scott)


Homemade the cottage pie just taste amazing. My first run in with the Aggborough pie was in March of this year when I covered Kidderminster Harriers in the Conference Premier. It was just amazing and every bite wanted me to go and buy another one.

My return to Aggborough and to the press area in November 2013 saw me eager to get another and once I had signed in at the club reception my first thoughts was how I could get my hands on one.

The catering units had just opened when I had arrived and was ready to hand over this amazing pie.

£4 it was worth every penny and soon as I had it I had scuttled over to the press box with my pie.

Sitting there it was just divine. The pie had a kick to it which made it even more better, normally I don’t get worked up about football food but this was different.

If I was a food critic I would rate this pie 10 out of 10 without a shadow of a doubt and would urge anyone who ever plans a trip to DY10 then to arrive early as not too miss out on this amazing piece of craftsmanship.

The Woking loaning

Scott Randell (photo from Woking fc)

Scott Randell (photo from Woking fc)


Loan signings are real hit of miss in the market really. You can either get a real good loanee and he will become a hero for your team in a very short space of time or they can not be bothered to put the effort in because they want to get back to their main club and force their way into the first team there.

Woking seem to be a club over their first two season in the Blue Square Premier that have made some excellent loan signings who have really worked hard for the team.

Last season The Cards had Billy Knott and Jayden Stockley.

Billy Knott was on loan from Premier League club Sunderland and is formerly of West Ham United and Chelsea.

The former England under 21 midfielder has to date made one Premier League appearance to date, which he made after a successful loan spell at Woking.

This came on the back of a very successful loan spell for Woking having joined in October and made his debut against Cambridge. He scored his first goals for Woking in a 3-1 win over Luton Town (netting twice) on New Years Day. He even made contender goal of the season with a curling effort vs Hyde.

Knott put in a string of impressive performances scoring 8 goals in 20 games before returning to Sunderland.

Jayden Stockley came from Bournemouth last season originally until January 2013 but after proving his goal scoring worth for The Cards his loan spell was extended until the end of the season.

At the Skrill Premier club he scored 10 goals in 26 games and was among the leading scorers for Woking last season.

What are they doing now.

 

Billy Knott is out on loan at Wycombe Wanderers and joined the Chairboys. He loan spell will end next week (27th November) and has played 20 games making his debut in a 2-2 draw with rivals Oxford United.

He scored his first Wycombe goal on 14th September against Plymouth in a 3-0.

 

Stockley is now at Leyton Orient on loan and has played 7 games and having scored one goal for the O. His loan spell will expire in January next year.

This season Jack Marriott and Scott Randell have joined The Cards on loan this season from Ipswich Town and Luton Town respectively.

Marriott has made one appearance for Ipswich in May away at Burnley in a 2-0 loss coming on off the bench.

The 19 year old has now played twice for Woking scoring three goals for Gary Hill’s side. The three goals have come against Hyde (twice) and old rivals Dartford, which has been his two games thus far for The Cards.

Scott Randell needs no introduction to non-league fans. The forward is on loan from Luton Town where he wrote himself not only into the Luton history books but the FA Cup history book as his goal knocked out Norwich City 1-0 being the first side from the non-league world to win at a Premier League.

Randell joined in September for The Hatters with a wealth experience but hasn’t started for John Still side since April.

He currently doesn’t got a squad number at Luton and hasn’t played in any of the pre-season games at Luton.

So far in his 11 games he has found the net 5 goals and made his debut against Tamworth on the day of his arrival scoring for the Kingfield side.

These are some of Woking recent loan signings there are more but it certainly proves that The Cards have made great loan signings.

Fastest penalty given in history Macclesfield Town v Wrexham.

Saturday afternoon saw Macclesfield Town welcome Wrexham to Mose Road in the Skrill Premier.

Photo by Ben Sutherland

Photo by Ben Sutherland

Just an average game really in all honesty, the game was your normal league game with the winners getting all three points. But the game, which for the record the Silkmen won 3-2.

But the game also saw the Macc being awarded what might well be the fastest penatly of all time.

11 seconds were just on the clock when the Red Dragons goalkeeper Andy Coughlin brought down Connor Jennings in the box. Up-stepped the Macc inform striker and he beat the keeper to put the hosts into the lead.

Two more goals from Jennings saw him complete his hat-trick while Joe Anyinsah and Brett Ormarod scored goals for the Red Dragons who suffered yet another defeat this season.

Click below to see the history making goal.

Why Steve Burr shouldn’t leave Kidderminster for FGR

Friday afternoon and as the Kidderminster Harriers faithful and team were putting last minutes plans together to make the trip down to London to face Barnet news filtered through that manager Steve Burr could well be off to join local rivals Forest Green Rovers as their manager.

Kidderminster manager Steve Burr.

Kidderminster manager Steve Burr.

A statement on the Kidderminster Harriers website read as follows: “Kidderminster Harriers can confirm that they have received a formal approach from Forest Green Rovers, through the correct channels, for permission to speak to Manager Steve Burr about their managerial vacancy.

Steve Burr has been kept fully aware of the situation at all times and has expressed an interest in meeting with Rovers officials to discuss the post and, as such, the club have reluctantly granted him permission to do so.

Until we discover the outcome of those discussions we will make no further comment on the matter – the team has a fixture at Barnet coming up this weekend and it is vital that Gary Whild and the rest of the management team and playing staff are left to focus as nothing is more important than that.”

A bitter blow for the Harriers who have backed, the former Macclesfield striker, last season even tough the Worcestershire lost their first five games of last season. Chairman Martin Sarrell could have quite easily got rid of Burr who joined the club in November 2010 for Stalybridge Celtic.

But he was quite happy to stand by and what results it was for the Harriers who transformed there season around and were close to securing the title.

It has always been believed that Burr would only leave Aggborough for a chance at managing in the Football League if he didn’t manage to take the Harriers back into the Football League, so it makes Friday’s announcement a little more surprising.

Despite Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Barnet at the Hive the Harriers sit 2nd in the Skrill Premier and look set to challenge once again in May for title glory. It would be a huge blow if they were to lose their manager, if he was to join Forest Green Rovers despite them being made one of the team for promotion this season they have thus far been disappointing and left David Hockaday with a job.

So it would make no sense for Burr to make the move now really if you were to base it on league positions.

The only reason why Burr may possibly leave DY10 is for Money. FGR are reportedly set to be banked rolled by a wealthy businessmen and have one of the top budgets in the Skrill Premier.

Sadly money attracted people these days and Burr will feel that he has earned the right to be getting a large wage for his work. But, if the Harriers were to be promoted which I think they have a real chance in doing so then he could be earning more money managing last season Conference runners up.

At Aggborough Burr has built and impressive squad bringing in young players in the main from lower leagues and turning them into top class players- Chey Dunkley, Anthony Malbon and Marvin Johnson are just three of the current ream players who have worked their way into Burr’s first team places thanks to hard work.

The only real place where this didn’t happen was when they sign Michael Gash from Cambridge United and what a signing he proved to be last season for the Harriers as he pushed them to promotion.

If Burr was to leave then he would be leaving a cracking job behind which has seen him take them from missing out on play-offs to the verge of the Football League. Where if he were to join FGR then he would be possibly taking a step back in the progression of his management career.

Look back at the FA Cup 4Q round.

20023388_be2b7a563e_z

The FA Cup has really got underway now as Conference Premier teams entered the fray for the competition on Saturday and despite a few potential upsets most of the Skrill Premier sides have made it into round One of the competition.

Barring the likes of Aldershot and Kidderminster who drew 1-1 away to Shortwood and Bradford Park Avenue away respectively we have 12 teams already in the round two with 3 more possibly joining us.

Where teams have gone out it is only due to being in an all Conference Premier ties such as Chester going out to Gateshead. While the only real upset so far came at manager less Forest Green Rovers who went out to Bishop Stortford at home.

The result means that The Skrill South side get to play the Cobblers of Northampton Town fc in the first round of the FA Cup.

But overall the weekend has been a really enjoyable one with lots of goals for example we had at 8 at Southport as they won 6-2 over Marske United from the Northern League.

To be fair to Alan Wright he could have easily rested his stars but he played a strong 11 and were 4-0 up after 15 minutes played okay they took their foot off the gas but as the end of the day it was also going to be a case of getting the first couple of goals and it kills the game.

We also had 7 goals at Macclesfield where the Skrill Premier side hammered Vauxhall Motors 7-0 at Mose Road with a bit of a strange score line.

I had seen the Motormen earlier in action this season as they knocked out Chorley fc (the team I support) 4-0 out of the competition so was a little surprised when the full time score flash up on my twitter feed.

A 15 minute hat-trick from Danny Rowe as well as goals from Connor Jennings, Danny Whitaker, Scott Boden and Scott Key put to the hosts through and was also Macc’s biggest win in over 17 years, so a good day for the Cheshire Club.

Personally for me I was the other side of Staffordshire to cover Tamworth v Solihull Moors which saw The Lambs walk all over the Moors with a 4-1 win. Goals from Richard Peniket, 2 from the birthday boy Nick Chadwick and one for sub Ben Richards-Everton made sure there was no upsets in South Staffordshire.

It was a really enjoyable game and despite the score was very end to end and the 319 Solihull fans who travelled to Staffordshire did themselves proud by singing till the end.

After the game I went to interview Dale Belford, the Tamworth fc manager for a website I work for called StaffsLive and the Tamworth press Officer filmed me doing the interview for their YouTube account and was given credit. You can see the video below.

There were also a few upsets one being Stourbridge winning at Workington, who sit bottom of the Skrill North. The Glassboys are no strangers to a cup upset having knocked out Plymouth 2-0 in the first round a couple of years back, this having drawn 3-3 in the original game.

The draw was made Sunday lunchtime and has thrown up some great games. Personally speaking I like the look of Hednesford v Crawley and Tamworth v Cheltenham Town (for StaffsLive reasons), Southport (One the closet team to where I live) have a trip to Leyton Orient.

But one of the ties of the round is Daventry being rewarded for beating Hartley Wintney 6-1 by facing Chestefield in the second round. The away end at the Proact stadium will certainly be full of fans cheering on the Southern League side.

For the full draw click here.

How to rekindle the magic of the FA Cup

This is a piece I wrote for the Atherton Colls match day programme vs Radcliffe Borough for the FA Cup game earlier this season which is reproduced below. If you want to view the whole programme you can find it on the link below.

The Football Association Challenge Cup- the oldest knockout competition in the world. Better known as The FA Cup.

For years the competition has brought upsets and magical moments which has left the fans and the players wanting more. But has the competition now being devalued as the so called big teams fielded weakened teams?

Once the FA Cup was the biggest competition for English teams after the league. But now English teams are making the latter stages of The Champions Leagues and surviving in the league becoming more important the FA Cup is being devalued by many clubs.

Wigan Athletic bucked the trend last season and managed to win the FA Cup with a 1-0 win over Manchester City. But, were sadly relegated just days later after their cup success. This seemed to be a similar story at Luton Town as they missed out on a shot of promotion as they had an excellent cup run which included them beating Norwich 1-0 at Carrow Road. Before going out in the 5th round to Millwall at Kenilworth Road.

But on the whole it feels like the greatest knockout competition in the world is losing the magic touch so how can we make it better?

Well for a start the media could cover the earlier games a lot more. In the early rounds only the local media covers the cup ties such as the local newspapers and the non-league paper. I fully understand people watching BBC will not want to watch a game such as Atherton Colls v Radcliffe Borough live on the BBC but maybe the FA Cup could have a camera there and it be put on the North-West web page. As not every team can make it into round one and get on the TV.

Also the round names could be changed why is it that we play in the first qualifying round etc. Clubs have already qualified for the FA Cup so why do Non-league teams have to go through a qualifying process to make it into playing Premier League teams. Many people think the FA Cup start at round 3 when Premier League and Championship sides enter the fray. Yet some teams like Hasting United last season have been playing in the cup competition since September.

My final way that the FA Cup could be improved is by seeding the teams so a premier league and championship clubs are in one pot, league one, two and non-league clubs in the other. That way we can have a more David v Goliath ties. The FA Cup is famous for the Giant killings and it’s what everyone loves. Also it will stop the all premier-league clashes happening. We seem play each other week, so why do we want to watch them again? The FA Cup is a chance for a little side to pit their wits against the big boys. I know we may at points be imbalanced so the lower ranked teams are placed in one pot and the top teams in the other.

I doubt the FA will use these ideas and will leave it how it is, but maybe they will try for a change and will go for it and trying and make the FA Cup become the great competition a club side can play in these days.

You can read a copy of that match day programme here.

Violence in non-league football

Its something that has been coming back into football recently especially in Non-league football and that is the violence and acts of vandalism.

Atherstone Fans attack Barrow subs in the FA Cup

Atherstone Fans attack Barrow subs in the FA Cup


Over the last week in the FA Cup fixtures there have been 2 big act of violence. Both uncalled for a both unneeded for and these have ruined the face of non-league football.

On Saturday Atherstone Town fc welcome Barrow to The Snake Pit. The game, which was won the visiting Bluebirds 4-0. With some dreadful scenes- which can be read about here.

But the nuts and bolts of it all was ‘home fans’ entered the pitch at half time and proceeded across to the away end to fight with the travelling Barrow fans.

Punches were thrown and reports of a flare being launched into the Barrow support have made national media. But the worst of it all was one elderly supporter was left injured and blood pouring from his body, which makes it all even worse for everyone.

It wasn’t just the fans that was attacked the people who attacked the fans also took down one of the Barrow flags and burnt it.

In the local media Atherstone’s chairman, Rob Weale, said: “I am personally embarrassed about the scenes here at half-time. It was unacceptable.
“Obviously, we will be pursuing the perpetrators. We will work alongside the security officers, the referees and the police and those people responsible will feel the full force of the law.
“The situation was defused as quickly as possible, the police came in to take control but once it has happened it has happened and I apologies to the Barrow fans.”

Its is unknown what is going to happen to the fans who invaded the pitch and started fighting with the Barrow fans but as Weale said in his statement they will feel the force of the law and many will be hoping it is stadium bans and/or prison sentencing.

The next key incident came on Tuesday night as Hednesford made it past West Auckland Town in a replay 4-2 on penalties.
In the first game the Auckland fans were accused of over the top celebrating. But as the Hednesford supporter’s bus made its way of the ground on Tuesday night the bus was attacked.

It is never nice to see the bus getting attacked at the end of the day all its job is really is to transport fans to and from the game in what is hoped to be a safe manor.
Personally I think both of these acts are cowardly and mindless people who are hell bent on causing trouble and ruining it for other football fans.

Below you can read some tweet, which people have said about the incidents.

Screen shot 2013-10-17 at 18.24.31

Screen shot 2013-10-17 at 18.24.42

Screen shot 2013-10-17 at 18.24.57

Screen shot 2013-10-17 at 18.25.07

Screen shot 2013-10-17 at 18.24.11

Screen shot 2013-10-17 at 18.25.13