Season 9 Game 05 (10-13 September)

THE ‘Stay with Der Kaiser in Benidorm’ HEAD-IN-HANDS LEAGUE

Siobhan Fahey (63!) Frans Beckenbauer (76) and Johnny Vegas (50) are this weeks birthdays. So there.

Barney: ‘Bowler scores against the run of play and Fulham are stumped’ [Josh Bowler of Blackpool]
Chris:  [ABSENT]
Howard: ‘Matt Jay scores for Exeter City and Scunny’s defence are Busted’

Didn’t note any talks from Mr Mojo but did enjoy the annual Sean Dyche lecture where the Burnley manager made his way down to the third circle to speak on ‘Keeping your real identity secret’. Dyche proudly noted he’d yet to be rumbled by those ‘above ground’ and put this down to his performances and post-match interviews.

Having seen said interviews, our colleague begged to differ but had other things to do, namely concentrating on denying goals to Cheltenham Town’s Callum Wright, Hamilton Academical’s Andy Ryan and Swansea City’s Joel Piroe. Another blank, which was embellished further by all three scoring midweek.

A fairly easy starter category and three very good choices here spring to mind. Witness goalscoring centre-backs Ash Taylor (Northampton Town-Aberdeen-Walsall), Dominic Ball (Peterborough United-Aberdeen-Queens Park Rangers) or Matty Pearson (Barnsley-Luton Town-Huddersfield Town).

Tony Mowbray’s installation as Blackburn boss a few years back was regarded as the first reasonable piece of business from the rather naive Venky’s ownership. That was four years ago and the Rovers fanbase is becoming rather disaffected with the club now firmly ensconced as a middling Championship club. Watching the away team, Luton Town, score twice in the second half after the Bedfordshire outfit went in 2-0 down at halftime won’t help matters.

A regular visitor to this particular shore again makes the grade in Dunfermline’s Bulgarian Nikolai Todorov. Joining him was the Tanzanian-born Yeovil winger Adi Yussuf. St Kitts and Nevis international Lois Maynard, who scored for the equally exotic Solihull Moors, might have counted but for the technicality of being born in Manchester.

Barney – called Peterhead v Clyde at 3-1 on 21 min – Finished: 3-2 – FAILED!
– called Walsall v Mansfield Town at 3-0 on 45 min – Finished: 3-1 – FAILED!
– called Cambridge United v Lincoln City at 0-3 on 23 min – Finished: 1-5 – FAILED!

Swansea 0-0 Hull City. Swansea racked up the possession with 69% of the ball and 16 shots whilst Hull managed just 1 shot on target throughout. The fact that both teams ended with a point will have the BT Sport pundit sending the kebabs “oop north” [as no-one from the North has ever said]. Reports said kebabs arrived with a message stating ‘Plough Lane should be the new national stadium’ can’t be confirmed or denied.

BREAKING NEWS…Kelty Hearts 1-1 Elgin City. Elgin scored with their 1 shot on target? Their only shot full stop? And it was a penalty? Can you redirect those kebabs to the far north of Scotland? Ta.

Best seems to be St Mirren v Dundee United game, which combined for 4 shots on target. From a combined total of 24 shots. Were the players aware of what constituted a ‘goal’? Not even asking for a friend, more the 4894 spectators who watched the alleged ‘action’.

Torquay United’s Armani Little and Tyrhys Dolan of Blackburn Rovers would be definite nominees to be Born In Burberry. But behold, the prodigal son returns in the shape of the reason why the category came into being, Kallum Higginbottom, who scored very late on for the new and moneyed kids in town at Kelty Hearts.

Matty Blair of Cheltenham Town (32 years old), Matty Lund of Salford City (30) and Huddersfield Town’s Matty Pearson (28). All scored at the weekend but all should be hearing the admonishment of You’re Not A Kid Anymore, Sonny.

Double mentions for Glovers winger Adi Yussuf. Not only is he a Local Boy Makes Good (as mentioned above) but those 18 clubs at 29 years old will see another of those dwindling amount of Claridge Clock(s) handed out.

Finally Plymouth Argyle 3-0 Sheffield Wednesday will have seen some rather masochistic souls supporting the S3 outfit traipse 586 driving miles over 10 hours and 20 minutes of a thoroughly unrewarding away trip. Could be the longest Where’s Russell we’ve spotted so far this season. You wouldn’t get Posh thumped like that away, oh no, we lost 0-4 at home to the Pilgrims. Beat that, ya lightweights [Barney is not bitter, you know, and is just hoping for a new manager, chairman,…team? before it’s too late].


Giles Coke (Grimsby Town)
Jack Marriott (Peterborough United)
James Tavernier (Rangers)
Vadaine Oliver (Gillingham)
Will Keane (Wigan Athletic) x2


Danny Andrew (Fleetwood Town)
Dominic Ball (Queens Park Rangers)
Harry Toffolo (Huddersfield Town)
Kieran Sadlier (Rotherham United)
Ricardo Santos (Bolton Wanderers) o.g.
Tom Nichols (Crawley Town)
Tommy Rowe (Doncaster Rovers)


Macauley Bonne (Ipswich Town on loan from Queens Park Rangers)
Martyn Waghorn (Coventry City)
Michael Smith (Rotherham United)
Myles Weston (Dagenham and Redbridge)


ArsenalJosh Rees (Boreham Wood)
Kyle Bartley (West Bromwich Albion)
Rhys Murphy (Southend United)

Cameron Carter-Vickers (Celtic on loan from Tottenham Hotspur)
Conor Sammon (Alloa Athletic)
Joe Ironside (Cambridge United)
Jordan Slew (Halifax Town)
Kyle Bartley (West Bromwich Albion)
Michael O’Halloran (St Johnstone)
Scott Boden (Boreham Wood)
Scott Hogan (Birmingham City)



Season 9 Game 04 (27-30 August)

THE Tribute to Red Noses and Lungs’

So named because of the weekend birthdays [a lack of ‘decent’ ones, Barney says] of Jack Black (52), Sir Lenny Henry (63) and Florence Welch (35).

Barney: ‘Gallagher’s scored twice for Palace – he’s smoking’
Chris: [deleted….] oh, sorry hang on, ahem: ‘A Red Card for Exeter’s Kite – he certainly made his ‘mark’ on the Harrogate player’ [I believe that’s Mr Smith’s first zinger in a month. Well worth the wait, I’m sure you’d all agree].
Howard: ‘Halifax winger Debrah wasn’t ‘Messing’ about’

Found itself at another Mr Mojo lecture, this one entitled ‘How to be less demanding’. The host was again compelling viewing for our undead companion and it barely noticed the lack of other attendees at the lecture. Indeed, it hardly noticed the oration had concluded until the chamber became rather more crowded.

Thoroughly intrigued by the lecturer, it vowed to find out more about this strangely unmagnetic individual. You’d have thought this distraction would’ve allowed one of Plymouth Argyle’s Luke Jephcott, Reading’s John Swift or Forest Green Rovers’ Mathew Stevens to score. You’d be absolutely wrong.

It seemed a tough old cookie to crumble as Barney could only find Blackburn Rovers’ target man Sam Gallagher as a unisexed-named player, but it turned out he/she also had fellow Sams Barratt (Maidenhead United), Nicholson (Bristol Rovers) and Cosgrove (Shrewsbury Town) for company. Maybe also Emi Buendia of Aston Villa? And Yoann Barbet (Queens Park Rangers) also sounds like Joanne.

It happened.

It finally happened.

We got a PAGGA!.

And it was a good one [Sorry Barney, I refuse to use the word ‘doozy’].

Shrewsbury Town v Gillingham. Gills midfielder Dan Phillips is red-carded for a second bookable on 88 minutes. This started a rumble which eventually saw Shrews midfielder David Davis and Gillingham’s assistant boss Paul Raynor both red-carded. Any PAGGA! involving non-playing staff is always one for the records but this is made even more special by the Shropshire outfit’s reserve goalie, Harry Burgoyne, also seeing red, allegedly for ‘pithy’ remarks made to and at Raynor.

The fun and games begin at around 1:30:

[LINK] – Warning: Contains handbags.

Remarkably, the ‘fractious’ Gills manager Steve Evans wasn’t involved in the melee. Was he there?

One of those categories that always somehow survives the cull, though it may actually be extended to cover the acting profession as well as musicians. Old favourite Michael Smith (Ah, you know him, the Rotherham United striker who also doubles as a soundtrack composer and a sideman in The Good, The Bad and The Queen) will just about be enough to pass muster, mister.

There’s a couple of winners. Man City (7th) 5-0 Arsenal (One position higher than 21st) can’t be ignored, Howard, but rather unexpectedly, Huddersfield Town (4th) 4-0 Reading (21st) in the Championship is technically a better selection.

oHuddersfield Town’s Sorba Thomas and West Ham United’s Michail “Not Good Enough For Wednesday” Antonio both netted and that’s plenty enough to get the job done. And maybe we could also throw in Byron Webster (Bromley) and Jesse Debrah (Halifax Town). BUT WAIT!!! step forward and take the spoils, the scorer of the only goal against Bolton Wanderers, Cambridge United’s Shilow Tracey.

Barney – called Salford City v Newport County at 3-0 at 45 min – Finished: 3-0 – FAILED!
– called Sunderland v Wycombe Wanderers, called at 2-0 on 15 min – Finished: 3-1 – FAILED!
– called Manchester City 5-0 Arsenal, called at 2-0 on 33 min – Finished – GUB (Technically)!

A great celebration at Spotland on the 27th August, where Rochdale FC celebrated their 100th birthday. Colchester United were the visitors and the game utterly failed to match the auspicious occasion as the teams played out a 1-1 draw where there were just 3 shots on target throughout the game. The home team’s right-back, Max Taylor, certainly made sure his name would be well-remembered by the Colchester faithful with this effort:

It gets awkward for Mr Taylor from 0:40


A Ricket like that? On your second appearance for the club? On their 100th birthday? Not so much a Make Ya Ma Proud, more a real knuckle-biting moment for the extended clan Taylor.

It’s not been a happy start for Sheffield United on their return to the Championship with the team not being able to play in the style the coaching staff prefer whilst Jokanovic makes increasingly showy comments about the lack of new players being bought in. A 0-0 draw at Kenilworth Road where the teams shared 2 shots on target would indicate those resilliant Blades fans would’ve been more enthused by An Evening With Paul Robinson!!!

542 miles and 9 hours and 42 minutes. That’s the distance there-and-back from Wycombe to Sunderland, where the away fans could be heard asking Where’s Russell? Perhaps.

Jordan Slew was strongly believed to be a future Premiership player after breaking into the Sheffield United team at 17 years old and scoring 3 goals in his first 8 games for the Blades. Whilst he did get to the Premier League with Blackburn after they paid an initial £1m for the then 18 year old, it didn’t really work out and he spent almost all of his contract out on loan to lower league teams.  This ‘Slew’ (!) of clubs – 16 at the age of 29 (on the 7th September) – means the now Halifax striker is transparently eligible for the Claridge Clock following his maiden goal for the Shaymen on Monday. Get the timepiece whilst it’s still around, as it might not be there for much longer…

Michail Antonio (West Ham United)

Carl Piergianni (Oldham Athletic)
Ivan Toney (Brentford)
Josh McQuoid (Weymouth)
Mohamed Eisa (Milton Keynes Dons)

charlton02Conor Gallagher (Crystal Palace on loan from Chelsea) x2
Conor McAleny (Salford City)
Joe Pigott (Ipswich Town)
Michael Smith (Rotherham United) x2
Myles Weston (Dagenham and Redbridge)
Regan Charles-Cook (Ross County)
Semi Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion)
Tony Watt (Motherwell)

ArsenalSemi Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion)

[Ben Heneghan (AFC Wimbledon)
Ben Whiteman (Preston North End)
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton)
Jordan Slew (Halifax Town)


Season 9 Game 03 (20-23 August)

THE ‘Little Earthquakes Break Things in 9.58 seconds’ HEAD-IN-HANDS LEAGUE

So named due to the weekend birthdays of Tori Amos (58) Fred Durst (51) and Usain Bolt (35).

Barney: ‘Only the Alloa player knows ‘Howie’ got two yellows within 34 minutes’
Chris: [a suspicious blank]
Howard: ‘Fulham make it 2-0 – Cue the Fresh ‘Hull’

Was indeed at the WI again, though quite perturbed at the sparse turnout for the guest speaker, a Mr Mojo, who waxed lyrical regarding the subject of ‘How To Attract Friends’. The decayed one couldn’t help but notice how crowded the room had been before he’d been introduced but they remained rapt throughout and would certainly be looking forward to the next month’s lecture.

With its attention elsewhere, it wasn’t wholly surprised by the news Bradford City’s Andy Cook scored, but still arranged for Brentford’s Ivan Toney and QPR’s Lyndon Dykes not to trouble the goalscoring column.

Always a long shot to come through and we didn’t note any rumbles which saw one off from either side. That’s because there weren’t any.

On the contrary, this category always comes through and there were so many players from overseas scoring for League 1 and below teams that Priti Patel (the offspring of Ugandan Asians herself) sent out the Immigration vans just in case. Zimbabwe-born Macauley Bonne was the first of many, but we also saw Congolese natives Offrande Zanzala (Barrow) and Kabongo Tshimanga (Chesterfield) netting.

In terms of unlikely settings Portuguese striker Ruben Soares-Junior scoring for Queen Of The South takes the rosette. Here’s the 21 year old in one of the most cliched signing pictures of all time: [LINK].

Burton Albion’s Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink does a fine job at the Pirelli Stadium but a 3-0 away loss to Cambridge United from 2 own goals and a deflection would’ve been ample reason for him to launch the cannons, but the former Leeds United man was gracious in defeat though not really vitriolic towards his own team’s performance. Regular viewers will be mightily unsurprised to read there’s more on this result in the Miscellaneous section.

Delighted to report that Luton Town 0-5 Birmingham City drew an unexpectedly brutal missive from Hatters’ boss Nathan Jones, who is almost as well known for his evangelical Christianity as he is for his managerial acumen:

“It’s not often we put in performances like that but today we’ve been a mile off in both boxes. The work-rate, the aggression wasn’t there today. We were lacking in the real important bits and I don’t know why.
We’ve put in as many good set-plays as them but they’ve got their head on theirs and scored. The third goal absolutely kills us – we give it away on the edge of their box and that’s just symptomatic of us today.
I’m a little bit embarrassed by the performance. If we put in too many like that we’re not going to be anywhere near where we want to be”

We had some worries about this as there wasn’t too many new boys scoring who could polish the shoes of established types such as Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Happily for some of the housemasters with ‘a reputation’ Queen Of the South’s Ruben Soares-Junior and Huddersfield’s Levi Samuels-Colwill scored late on and will be learning the house song as we type this.

As much as some of us would like to, the Rotherham United v Sheffield United game can’t be ignored. Even Radio Sheffield have given up trying to re-name the match the ‘X1 derby’. There’s really not all that much else to go with, maybe Crewe Alexandra v Accrington Stanley and Sheffield United v Huddersfield Town may just get in within the 35 mile boundary.

Barney – called Wealdstone v Woking, called at 0-2 on 28min – Finished: 1-2 – FAILED!
– called Exeter City v Bristol Rovers, called at 3-0 on 24 min – Finished: 4-1 – FAILED!
– called Manchester City v Norwich City, impressively called at 1-0 on 7 min – Finished: 5-0 – GUBBED!

Cambridge United 3-0 Burton Albion. Cambridge’s goals came entirely from Burton players’ misfortune, their first arrived via a huge deflection and two Tom Hamer own goals saw the Brewers droop (that call from QUEST EFL can’t be too far away…) to the reverse.

As mentioned above, the Fresh Hell eluded us due to Hasselbaink’s honesty. It was 0-0 at half-time so that’s an unfortuate Reverse Churchill to Hasselbaink and that day for Hamer is an immaculate Make Ya Ma Proud.

Andy Cook’s quite the marksman in the lower divisions of the 92, but didn’t really shine in his Mansfield tenure accruing a modest 9 goals in 43 games. He’s now at Bradford and scored the late winner against his old team at Field Mill. But did he celebrate? You bet your beeswax he did: [LINK]  – It Dont Mean Nuthin’? We think not.

Dominic Solanke was briefly famous for being signed out of Chelsea’s reserves by Liverpool, who had offered an eight-figure sum to sign him from Stamford Bridge whilst he was under contract, then paid around £5m in compensation to secure his service when he was a free agent. It’s still hasn’t worked out for him to date but he did score at the weekend for Bournemouth. That would be Chelsea – Liverpool – Bournemouth and an unusual And Stay Out! involving three (then) Premiership clubs.

We were in discussions about kicking a few categories to the curb over the off-season but have kept faith with almost all of them. This is due to us not having the creativity to think up any replacements or forgetting how the new categories would’ve worked. Alcohol may have been involved.

Well, Greenock Morton’s Kyle Jacobs scored at both ends on Saturday and that’s now twice in the first three weeks A Day Trip To Brighton has been logged. Both occurances involved lower league Scottish teams, so there would’ve been many a mile racked up travelling to the South Coast.

Not bad for a category we were convinced was as rare as a PAGGA!

Finally, another section where we didn’t see much action in the previous season was the Category Without A Name, which sees a player score and get sent off in the same game. It blanked when it was a named category on the opening week but Bournemouth’s David Brooks got the dubious accolade last week and Dundee United’s Peter Pawlett matched this on Sunday.

Aden Flint (Cardiff City) x2
Benik Afobe (Millwall on loan from Stoke City)
Connor Kirby (Altrincham on loan from Harrogate Town)
David Jones (Wrexham)
Gary Gardner (Birmingham City)
Michail Antonio (West Ham United) x2
Rhys McCabe (Airdrieonians) x2
Vadaine Oliver (Gillingham)

Jason Cummings (Dundee)
Kane Ferdinand (Maidenhead United)
Kwesi Appiah (Crawley Town)
Matt Stevens (Forest Green Rovers)
Matty Godden (Coventry City)

charlton02Abraham Odoh (Rochdale)
Chuks Aneke (Birmingham City)
Joe Aribo (Rangers)
Josh Umerah (Wealdstone)
Macauley Bonne (Ipswich Town on loan from Queens Park Rangers) x2
Patrick Bauer (Preston North End)
Tony Watt (Motherwell)

ArsenalBenik Afobe (Millwall on loan from Stoke City)
Chuks Aneke (Birmingham City)

Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton)
Matt Phillips (West Bromwich Albion)
Sam Vokes (Wycombe Wanderers)
Scott Hogan (Birmingham City) x2


Season 9 Game 02 (13-16 August)

THE ‘InBetween Katniss and Catwoman’ HEAD-IN-HANDS LEAGUE

So named for the birthdays of James Buckley (34), Jennifer Lawrence (31) and Halle Berry (55).

Barney: ‘Exeter’s veteran defender gets red card and he can have no ‘Grounds’ for complaint’ [Exeter went on to lose 3-0 to Leyton Orient]
Chris: {Nothing. Really?!]
Howard: ‘Fylde’s Tollett scored at his convenience’ [Ben Tollitt of AFC Fylde who beat Guiseley 4-2 away)

Our occasionally-sentinent being made good on last week’s pledge to get out and about around its dwelling and has become quite a regular at the Hades WI (of course there’s one down there, they’re everywhere). It has stated it will be taking notes at next week’s meeting where the guest speaker will be discussing ‘How To Attract Friends’ though the actual speaker’s name is a mystery to date.

Perhaps musing on this rather too much, the being failed to prevent Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic scoring on Saturday, though Martin Boyle at Hibernian and Charlie Wyke at Wigan Athletic blanked.

Given the the category title, you have to give best to an Austrian’s half-time efforts resulting in a defeat after looking good for the win. So when Southampton’s Ralph Hasenhuttl’s interval talk sees the Saints descend to a 1-3 loss after being ahead after 45 minutes, well, it kind of writes itself.

On the subject of descent, Sean Dyche oversaw a 1-0 Burnley lead at the break develop into a 1-2 reverse to Brighton & Hove Albion in what BT sport couldn’t help themselves to call ‘an early relegation six-pointer’.

And we mustn’t mention Newcastle United in the concept of ‘relegation’ but Steve Bruce saw his charges 2-1 up at half-time and or the wrong end of a 2-4 result on the full-time whistle. Tough to take for someone who is currently the ‘4th best British manager’ (BT Sport). There’s a back-handed compliment.

Familiar name David Goodwillie is here as ever, but also we have the wee Scottish man who’s better than Zidane* (aka Barry Bannan) – [LINK] – multiple charges dating back to his Aston Villa days.

* fact-check: “No.”

It’s been quite a few months since Darren Moore catching the X78 to civilisation from Doncaster in joining the Owls from the Keepmoat Stadium outfit. Any reasonably sane individual would do the same but the timing was very strange because yon Owls were and are in a proper mess.

There’s still a good bit of enmity between the teams supporters regarding the move but Mr Moore would be enjoying the bragging rights after Wednesday beat Doncaster Rovers 2-0 at Hillsborough particularly after a Donny missed penalty/missed rebound 3 minutes from the end.

A manager who absolutely didn’t enjoy a game opposing a team where he was never accepted was Karl Robinson at Oxford United, who won’t have enjoyed winning 2-1 against Charlton Athletic. Not a bit.

A very poor selection of teams being whupped on their travels. So much so we’re having to go with just a 2-0 home win in the shape of Portsmouth 2-0 Crewe Alexandra. That would be a 416 miles, 7 hrs and 36 minutes round trip but I’m really not sure 2-0 is a big enough results.

Did I mention ‘2-0’ on enough occasions in the above paragraph?

Barney – called West Bromwich Albion v Luton Town at 2-0 on 40 min – Finished: 3-2 – FAILED!
called Walsall v Forest Green Rovers at 0-3 on 44 min – Finished: 1-3 – FAILED!
– called Cove Rangers 5-2 East Fife at 3-0 on 60 min – Finished – FAILED!

The second week of the EFL saw quite a few games where the fans in the stands got nostalgic about the last season’s non-attendences. Birmingham City v Stoke City, Swansea City v Sheffield United, Port Vale v Tranmere Rovers and Rochdale v Scunthorpe United all qualified for the category, having ended 0-0 and combining with less than 5 shots on target between them.

Amazed that Lee Angol is still just 26. He’s already picked up the ‘well-travelled’ moniker (League Paper) but having 12 clubs at that age is certainly eligible for the Claridge Clock category (before its imminent retirement).

As for the Category Without A Name, where a player scores and gets a red card later in the game. David Brooks is a very unlikely nominee here as he looks about 14 and Barney’s Blades-supporting brother can barely remember him making a tackle without getting injured. But he did indeed score on 28 and saw red on the hour so there you go.

A lengthy trip over the border sees us pitch up at the Lowland League, which are experimenting with the inclusion of Celtic and Rangers’ under 21s in a bid to give young Scottish players meaningful and competitive minutes against older, more savvy players. In terms of ‘Competitive’ initial results aren’t promising:

Rangers B 9-1 Gretna 2000

Vale Of Leithen 0-10 Celtic B, including a one-man gub for Owen Moffat.

Finally, it was the first round of the Welsh FA Cup. Sample results include:

Caurau Ely 3-8 Brecon Corries

Pencoed Athletic (Amateur) 5-0 Treharris Athletic (Western)

Is there a professional Pencoed Athletic, just up from Bridgend? Is Treharris blessed with four teams for every main direction? Why is no-one asking these questions?

Chris Lines (Stevenage)
Jacob Murphy (Newcastle United)
Josh Onomah (Fulham)
Michail Antonio (West Ham United)
Will Keane (Wigan Athletic)

Conor Washington (Charlton Athletic)
Danny Andrew (Fleetwood Town)
Lee Angol (Bradford City) x2
Matt Stevens (Forest Green Rovers) x2

Harry Pell (Accrington Stanley)
Karlan Grant (West Bromwich Albion)

Chris Willock (Queens Park Rangers)
Jay Emmanuel-Thomas (Aberdeen)
Luke Ayling (Leeds United)

Callum Robinson (West Bromwich Albion)
Conor Washington (Charlton Athletic)
David Brooks (Bournemouth)
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton)
Joe Ironside (Cambridge United)
Joe Riley (Carlisle United)
John Lundstram (Rangers)
Sam Vokes (Wycombe Wanderers)
Stefan Scougall (Alloa Athletic)