Archive for December, 2012

Aldershot U18 1 – 3 West Ham U18, F.A. Youth Cup

Posted in Football with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 13, 2012 by jackpinnock

Speaking after West Ham U18 3-1 F.A. Youth cup victory over Aldershot Town U18, manager Nick Haycock expressed his delight of how his players performed, saying that they had ‘risen to the challenge’, but also said it was ‘a hard fought victory.’

Haycock said “In the end it was a great victory. All credit to Aldershot, because I thought they were well-organised, and had a game plan to try and upset us.”

Haycock also added “Sometimes coming away to a smaller club in an environment the boys are not used to, it took them time to adapt. Fair play to them, though, because they avoided a giant killing. It could have gone a different way at various stages of the game, so all in all, I’m pleased.”

A brace from captain, Elliot Lee, and a Jamie Harney header ensured West Ham U18 secured a place in the 4th round draw of the F.A. Youth Cup draw

Aldershot Town U18 boss, Terry Boyle described his side’s defeat as ‘harsh’, and also said he was ‘over the moon with how the players performed’.

Boyle said ” I thought the game was even stevens in the first half, and I actually thought for the majority of the half we outplayed West Ham which was a massive boost from our point of view, second half I think it’s fair to say that they had a little bit more quality in the final third and they capitalised on that, but I still think the score-line flatters them. We were chasing the game a little bit at the end but still managed to create plenty of chances but we were just a little bit too short on the day.”

The first half was fast paced, and intense, as both teams wanted to take an early lead. Aldershot linchpin, Reece Beckles-Richards forced Hammers shot stopper, Sam Baxter into an early save after 5 minutes. Shortly afterwards, Harry Cooksley, who is on the fringes of Dean Holdsworth’s first team plans, produced a free kick that went narrowly wide.

West Ham winger and Republic of Ireland U18 international, Kieran Sadlier, was involved in the Hammers best effort of the first half with a one on one chance that Shots keeper, Luke Williams commanded brilliantly.

On the 50th minute, Sadlier’s scuffed shot fell to Lee, who simply could not miss to put the Hammers in the lead. 1-0 quickly became 2-0 when Nathan Mavila, a summer acquisition from Wycombe Wanderers, swung a vicious corner that was met by the head of defender Harney.

With 15 minutes to play, Shots captain, Adam Brice headed past Baxter’s net after a sublime free kick from winger, Mitch McDonald.

However, Aldershot’s hopes of a remarkable comeback were dashed when the ever dangerous Lee pounced on a Beckles-Richards mistake and finished well to put West Ham safely through to the next round of the F.A Youth Cup.

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The 3 Promoted Clubs So Far

Posted in Football, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 11, 2012 by jackpinnock

As we know, Reading, Southampton and West Ham have achieved the fantastic accolade of winning promotion to the promised land of the Premier League. With the Npower Championship one of the difficult leagues to get out of, there is no question that these three teams have quality. However, three months of the season have flown by, so it begs the question, how have the Royals, the Saints and the Hammers done so far?

Reading

Brian McDermott’s side were the title winners of the Championship season after hitting form from January onwards, however, converting their form in the Championship to the Premier League has not been so easy. With one win in their last 16 league matches, Reading lie second from bottom in the relegation zone, and with the dreaded run of a congested Christmas fixture list, it doesn’t look like it will get any easier for the Royals. Nevertheless, there is no question there is quality in the side, and with McDermott’s preference to play stylish, slick football, they are a very eye catching team to watch. The summer acquisitions of Russian hitman, Pavel Pogrebnyak from Stuttgart, who recently spent last season on loan at London rivals Fulham, and playmaker, Danny Guthrie, who was released by Newcastle has definatly added creative spark and flair to the team. There is no doubt that with the January transfer window nearly upon us, McDermott would like to splash the cash from new owner Anton Zingarevich. The question still remains, can Reading stay up this season ?

Verdict

McDermott’s men need a reality check. I think spending the 2013/2014 season back in the Championship is going to happen.

reading

Southampton

The Saints have emulated the achievements of Norwich City by winning back to back promotions from the Npower League 1 and Npower Championship respectively. However, like Reading, they have struggled to cope with the pace of the Premier League, but it has to be said, Nigel Adkins would bite your hand off if the season finished now, as the St Mary’s outfit currently lie in 15th position. Southampton, whose last appearance in the Premier League was in 2004, have invested heavily during the summer transfer window with Jay Rodriguez moving from Burnley for a remarkable £7million, and Uruguayan prodigy Gaston Ramirez moving from Italian Serie A outfit, Bologna for a staggering £12 million. Furthermore, with the likes of Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana still with the Saints, there is without a doubt, goals and creative flair in the side. The major flaw to with Nigek Adkins’ side is his defence, having conceded 32 goals in the top flight, the Saints have the leakiest back line in the division. With the January transfer fast approaching, surely a commanding, experienced centre half is the main priority for Southampton.

Verdict

Despite the unorganisation of his defence, I think Southampton have enough steel and flair for them to stay in the division for at least another season.

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West Ham

Since being relegated from the Premier League back in the 2010/2011 season, Sam Allardyce’ men have become a real force to be reckoned with. Losing just 8 games in the Npower Championship, and narrowly beating Blackpool in the Play-Off final at Wembley, the Hammers have started the Premier League campaign in tremendous fashion. The signings of skipper Kevin Nolan, defensive stalwart James Collins, winger Matt Jarvis, midfield powerhouse Mohammed Diame and England striker Andy Carroll have defiantly sent a message to fellow Premier League sides, saying we are not just settling for 17th place. With the mind blowing £11 million signing of Jarvis, and the surprising loan signing of Carroll from Liverpool, you can quite simply see where the threats are from West Ham. Also, with the goal poaching of Nolan, the Upton Park outfit will not struggle for goals this season. So far, the Hammers lie in 11th position, but on the basis of their current form, a top 10 finish is very much a realistic aim. Comfortable victories against Chelsea and Newcastle, and a valuable point against champions Manchester City will give West Ham’s men confidence against bigger clubs. However, surprisingly, you could say this is West Ham’s downfall, as competing against smaller teams that you would say are winnable, the Hammers seem to lose that confidence and let the opposition possess the game. Defeats against Wigan and Swansea are prime examples of why you cannot let your guard down. Nevertheless, with the Olympic Stadium guaranteed to be the Hammers new home from 2016, Allardyce would like to think to stay in the top flight until then, and then maybe mount a serious challenge for a European place.

Verdict

There is too much quality in the side for just a 14th or 15th place finish. I think a place in the top 10 should be a realistic aim for West Ham.

Andy Carroll

F.A. Cup- Aldershot

Posted in Football with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 11, 2012 by jackpinnock

Aldershot Town’s reward for narrowly scrapping past Fleetwood Town in the F.A. Cup second round is a very winnable Third round home tie against either the winners of Rotherham United or Notts County respectively.

Consequently, this was the end of Fleetwood manager Micky Mellon’s tenure, as a run of three straight defeats, and a disagreement over loan signings left Mellon’s contract terminated by mutual consent. He leaves Fleetwood 7th in the Npower League 2 table after promotion from the conference.

Dean Holdsworth’s men, who have gone no further than the fifth round, won 3-2 against the Lancashire side at Highbury.

The shots were unfortunate to go 1-0 down after a rapid start, but after 10 minutes, Fleetwood’s Junior Brown put the Lancashire outfit ahead after a fantastic cross by Fleetwood midfielder, Alan Goodhall.

10 minutes later, the Shots found themselves deservedly level when star striker, Danny Hylton intelligently left a stray pass too top scorer, Craig Reid, who laid the ball back too Hylton, whose fierce drive with his weaker foot was not match for Fleetwood keeper, Scott Davies.

A moment of pure brilliance from midfield enforcer, Peter Vincenti put Aldershot 2-1 up at the break when his 35 yard curling effort deceived Davies in the Fleetwood goal, as the ball dipped underneath the crossbar.

Fleetwood’ David Ball, and substitute Jamie Milligan wasted glorious opportunities to put the Higbury outfit level in this all important cup tie, but on 75 minutes, a classic counter attack saw the ever present, Danny Hylton, go past goalkeeper Davies, and from an acute angle, managed to squeeze the ball home and put the Shots 3-1 up with 15 minutes to play.

Aldershot was running down the clock with relative ease, however, the Hampshire side conceded a late goal to build the nerves of every associate with Aldershot. A Steve Gillespie shot deflected into the skies, Shots keeper Jamie Young came out confidently to collect, only to spill the ball into the path of David Ball who simply could not miss.

Nevertheless, Aldershot managed to hang onto the vital win and book themselves a place in the Third round of the F.A. Cup. Holdsworth mentioned that this win was @quite unexpected’, but he also said “he is pleased to have gone through”.

fleetwood v aldershot town fa cup 2nd rnd 01/12/12

Woking match report

Posted in Football, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 11, 2012 by jackpinnock

Despite the 7-0 hammering from Hyde last Saturday, Woking bounced back in tremendous fashion as they took their revenge on Lincoln City at Sincil Bank with a fairly comfortable 2-0 win.

The Cards, who recorded only their second clean sheet of the season and registering their third away win of the season, took an early lead with a penalty in which Kevin calmly converted after a foul on Woking wide man, Brett Williams.

The Imps rarely tested keeper Aaron Howe, as a tactical change from last week’s mauling of The Cards, saw Garry Hill’s men convert to a five man midfield, with Kevin Betsy and top scorer, Bradley Bubb operating on both wings.

Bubb could have doubled Woking’s lead in quick succession when midfield linchpin, Billy Knott, who was signed from Premier League outfit Sunderland after a couple of loan spells with the club, fed Bubb whose fierce drive hot the side netting.

Lincoln’s best chance in the first half fell to Scott Garner, whose header was expertly tipped over the bar by Howe.

On the hour mark, Lee Sawyer’s powerful drive deflected off two Lincoln defenders, in which Bubb was the quickest to react and finish well to double the Cards’ lead.

Immediately after the goal, Knott almost trebled the lead when his curling effort inside the area was clawed away by Imps keeper Paul Farman who was at full stretch.

It was plain sailing for Woking in the final 15 minutes, and came away from Sincil Bank with maximum points, and are now 4 points clear of safety in a congested bottom half of the Blue Square Bet Premier League table.

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My Newspaper page

Posted in Uncategorized on December 11, 2012 by jackpinnock

Newspaper page

Me interviewing Aldershot’s Adam Mekki

Posted in Football, Uncategorized with tags , , on December 7, 2012 by jackpinnock

Brighton Dev. 1-4 Swansea Dev.

Posted in Football, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 7, 2012 by jackpinnock

Brighton development manager Luke Williams said there was too much quality in the Swansea team for his players to handle after the Seagulls slumped to a 4-1 defeat at the AMEX stadium.

Williams said “There was a lot of quality out there, particularly in the Swansea side, and there finishing was outstanding, and if you’ve got players like Danny Graham in your side, you expect that”.

Williams, whose side had the tightest defence in the League 2 South Development league until this game, also added “When Swansea overloaded us in midfield, we struggled to cope, and the quality of the finishing compared to ours was the big difference”.

Swansea, who until this match were the lowest scorers in the division, struck first when midfield maestro Kurtis March’s piledriver was no match for goalkeeper Dan East.

The Swans’ second came shortly afterwards, when a stunning 25 yard free kick from Lee Lucas was too hot to handle for East.

Brighton’s best chance in the first half came from winger, Kazenga LuaLua, when his fierce drive from just outside the box was expertly saved from Swans’ shot stopper, David Cornell, so the south coast outfit found themselves 2-0 down at the interval.

The second contained a plethora of goals, firstly a rasping shot from Swansea hitman, Danny Graham, who is looking to get back into Michael Laudrup’s first team, was brilliantly turned away from East, only for him to parry it towards wing wizard Rory Donnelly who headed home to the Swans 3-0 up.

Brighton captain, Torbjorn Agdestein and striker Shamir Goodwin both came close to reducing the deficit, however, Donnelly forced a mistake from defender, Matthew McGiveron, who’s cross found Graham, who tapped home to claim maximum points for the away side.

Anton Rodgers gave Brighton a late consolation from LuaLua’s cross, with a sublime finish from the edge of the box, but it was too little too late, who’s first game at the AMEX came to a grinding halt.

Agdestein said that “the players were very sloppy, and that you have to give credit to Swansea, because when they got their chances, they took them.”

Brighton will be looking for a positive response in the next game, as they travel to bottom side Barnet.