Once again the standard of officiating at this level of football pissed me off. Free-kicks not given, cards issued like they’re going out of fashion generally to the wrong player. Perfectly good goal given off-side by a 70 year old linesman three miles behind the play. No bollocking for a manager who kept straying onto the pitch.
This weekend’s football was Fulham v Brentford, two teams that I photograph regularly, with Fulham looking to secure Automatic Promotion & Brentford looking for a play-off place, it was always going to end up being a draw.
City travelled to Bedfont Sports on Saturday, but couldn’t manage a win, worked hard, but probably missed Matt Anton’s industrious work rate pressuring their defence.
In other news I had to leave the match early to photograph a fireworks display.
Guildford City played in the FA cup at the weekend, & won, so on to the next round were we travel to Thatcham Town, a team that we played in the South & West League a couple of seasons ago.
A little football club in Guildford that I photograph regularly for their match day programmes & the local newspaper coverage did brilliantly well in the “national match day programme awards” beating local, much higher placed, and far wealthier teams such as Woking & Aldershot Town FC. So well done Guildford City FC. Onwards & Upwards.
The football season, at Step Five at least, is over, Guildford City had a number of memorable games in the frantic end to the season. With so many games postponed during the christmas & January period, it meant playing Saturday, Wednesday, Saturday for the last few weeks, which was tough on the players, and the club, as revenues from weekday games are seldom, if ever as good as weekend games.
However the new management & the new squad performed admirably with an important run of three straight wins at the end of the season (& 8 wins from the last 13) to ensure Premier league survival for the team. Some outstanding performances across the squad, as usual the strikers (Anthony Baker & Dan Steward) will get most of the credit, there were brilliant performances across the whole park, from goalkeepers, defenders, mid-fielders and the management.
A great end to a season that started poorly, with all of the usual trials & tribulations that go with a management change part way through a season. However, on a positive note, the team are young, they have less than a season of experience at this level of football, I am confident that if we can keep the squad together next season will be a very different story.
In other news, Guildford City won their game 2 – 0 and have avoided back to back relegations, so congrats to the new management team & their fantastic young players. Critics have said that they have no experience at this level, however, they have proved that a fantastic team spirit, great discipline, high work rate & sound tactics can be made to work at any level. I am confident that the new team (assuming that they stay together) will have a great future in the glorious City Red & White….
Knaphill did probably just about deserve the points, but the battle for survival is still winnable.
The average age under the new management has dropped significantly yet the standard of football, the level of professionalism, the sportsmanship (not gamesmanship) have gone through the roof.
Quality football, solid defence, two outstanding shot stoppers (as anyone who knows me, that was my role, many years ago) & a never say die spirit is impressive, makes my role within the club a pleasure, now on to face Epsom & Ewell at the Spectrum on Saturday.
Next week sees them travel to Frimley Green, which is another 6 pointer.
A 0-5 victory against high flying Hartley Wintney gave City the boost that they probably need in the hectic run in towards the end of the season. They could probably have won by a greater margin, but a sterling performance by every player secured a fantastic win, & hopefully an injection of confidence that this young team can truly compete at this level. Well Done City.
Only the second home game for Guildford City FC since December 2014, & City recorded a deserved win & an invaluable 3 points.
I covered the Guildford City FC v Horley Town at the Guildford Spectrum, the first home match to be played since the 6th December. A very young squad battled hard & were unfortunate to concede an equaliser in the 90+ minute. Having come from 0-1 down to lead 3-2.
Next up Knaphill at home, bring it on 🙂
No match at the game that I was planning on covering, so I covered the Woking v Dover match in the FA Trophy 3rd Round. Woking after having played the best football in the first half gave away a 2-1 lead in the second half to be 3-2 down, only a last gasp header from Scott Rendell, meant that they go to a replay at Dover on Tuesday night.
Well at least the new one focuses as it should on first trials, it has also addressed several of the issues that I raised in the first review of the 120-300, way back in 2005ish, which you can read here.
There will be a review in a few days when I have done some more testing, however interestingly it seems to work better with the Canon Extenders than the previous version did, it also even works with the 1.4x & 2x stacked.
Check back in a few days.
A great day at the Spectrum except for the result. Guildford City launched their brand new kit, sponsored by Team-Tops in association with the halow project, a Guildford based charity. The Mayor of Guildford was also in attendance along with the halow mascot.
Somehow the team managed to lose after having almost all of the offensive possession, most of the shots on goal, but unfortunately were not able to convert any of their numerous chances.
Anyway next up is a friendly match against the British Army, I don’t know what they are likely to be like in terms of football skills, but I can imagine that they will be very fit & strong.
Guildford City are announcing their new charity partnership at the match against Chertsey Town on ‘Non League Day’ the 6th of September as well as unveiling the new football strip & sponsors to the public. As well at the halow project we are expecting the mayor of Guildford & various other dignitaries, trustees & directors of our commercial partners.
it should be a great day with a number of our youth teams playing games during half time, and various events prior to the kick off. Hopefully we will have several hundred fans & guests present for the afternoon, and then all down to the City Club for a BBQ & party.
I have experienced the definitive case of ‘mission creep’ over the last couple of seasons. It started when I was asked if I knew of somewhere that we could get a good deal on minibuses for the nightmare of a season for Guildford City Football Club, when they were dumped from a great height in the Bristol & District league (or the Calor South & West League as it is officially known). Having secured a great deal from Methold Vehicle Hire for a couple of 17 seater minibuses for each of the away games, it became clear that a driver for one of the minibuses would also be required, so seeing as I would be driving one of the buses, the camera equipment should also travel as well.
Then during the close season the securing of advertising & sponsorship revenue were added to the list of things that needed doing.
Anyway the beginning of a new season & a lightening of the load occurred, no longer needing to drive minibuses, I am pleased to say that I have gone back to the role of match day photographer & webmaster for the www.guildfordcityfc.co.uk and the www.twitter.com/guildfordcity.
It has been an interesting & challenging 13 months or so, but hopefully some of the ideas that the we have put in place should make the financial position of the club a little easier to manage in future, and hopefully our new sponsors & advertisers will be with us for many years to come, along with hopefully many new ones as well.
A new season in a new league, Guildford City FC this season find themselves in the Combined Counties Premier league. A much more local one than that the stitch up of a league that we ended up in last season. City’s furthest away game this season is a short jaunt across to Horley.
I have never been involved in the league at this level, but of the two matches that I have been to so far, it is going to be interesting to compare the quality of the stadium & facilities to the places like Merthyr Town, Evesham & The Seasiders from last year.
A loss in the first match of the season, when really we should have had a comfortable afternoon, then this weekend a victory against Farnham Town, by a single goal, which really could have been 5 or 6.
So onwards to our first home game of the season against Spethorne Sports on Wednesday evening at the Guildford Spectrum.
Next season looks like Guildford City are going to be playing in the Combined Counties League, which whilst disappointing to have been relegated, it will mean that there is a lot less travelling which means that we will field a stronger team for away games than we have been able to. It also means that the club will benefit from more away fans at the Guildford Spectrum, which means a greater revenue stream.
It will also mean renewing acquaintances with local rivals, which should be fun. Visiting grounds like Camberley Town, Badshot Lea, Knaphill & Raynes Park, hopefully we will bounce straight back up & rejoin Godalming Town in the Step 4 Central Division.
In years gone by, I used to photograph premier & championship football, it was a case of turn up, do the photos & fuck off soonest. However, at Grass Roots Football, where the FA don’t even care to look, and where the league system is fucked up fairly regularly, making small, non profit making teams embark on premiership style travelling distances without the money for coaches, hotels or travelling expenses. This (I hope just the first) season with Step 4 Guildford City has been “interesting”. No prima-donnas, just some very good footballers (some on their way down from higher leagues, some on their way up) giving their time, effort & skills to playing a game that they love, often for little or no reward.
This season has be interesting for a number of reasons, not only do I shoot the team for the local rag, I also drive one of the Team minibuses for away games, maintain their website, and their Facebook page, I have also got to know almost all of the players, and have to say that a nicer bunch of footballers I have never met. Polite, considerate & genuinely funny bunch, something that I could never say about the “celeb” footballers that I have photographed in the past.
Anyway Step 4 & 4000+ miles was a step too far this season. Hopefully they will be back in a seasons time, with the attitude, commitment and the work rate on the pitch, I can’t see them staying down.
Guildford City I look forward to being there next season 🙂
Maybe next season we will do more behind the scenes photographs…..
Whilst it hasn’t been the furthest that we have travelled on a week day, it was still far enough for a lot of players that have jobs, getting away from work early really isn’t easy, so we travelled with 6 key players absent, so thin were the pickings that we had the reserve goal keeper playing up front.
The team got a bit of a trashing, but in reality it was kind of expected, playing against one of the promotion chasing teams. We eventually left the Guildford Spectrum at 1710hrs, for the (on a good day, 1 1/2 hour journey) traffic even getting out of guildford was a nightmare, and getting to Reading Services which usually takes 40 minutes took an hour & 20 minutes. Eventually we arrived at the ground at a little after 1910hrs.
The lighting was pretty bad, ISO3200 F2.8 @ 1/200th sec, but not the worst in the league, I think the award for the worst lighting is split between Bishop’s Cleeve & Fleet Town.
Journey home was a lot quicker, leaving after 2220hrs we made it back to Guildford just in time to grab a pint and then the following morning I had to return the minibus, and then drop a players wallet to his house as he left it in the bus.
A long trip on Tuesday night from Guildford down to Taunton Town for a 1945hrs kick off. We left later than planned but fortunately no traffic problems and we were able to make up some time whilst on the road.
The Guildford City team looked like a good squad on paper, although as someone pointed out we don’t play on paper. I have to say that despite going one goal down, and then a second in the last minutes of the first half, city never dropped their heads.
In the second half they dug deep and really raised their game, running out 2 – 3 winners which made the minibus trip back to guildford a pleasant one, even if I didn’t hit the sack until 0100hrs.
I am photographing a massive game tonight as Guildford City FC play against bottom team Fleet Town. City beat Fleet back at the Spectrum in September, tonight is the night to complete the double, and create a bit of breathing space between them & City.
After a good point against Shortwood on Saturday, hopefully a full strength squad (although missing Ben Rayner, through injury) and the same kind of effort tonight should see 3 points heading Guildford’s way (Christ I hope that I haven’t jinxed it saying that).
Hopefully the Sweeney will be mob handed tonight, and really get behind the team.
Wimborne have a two hour drive to play this game and rather selfishly I hope that they have the same travelling woes as we had when we played them at their ground. Hopefully The Sweeney will be in good voice on the night, COYG!!!!
This Saturday sees me once more heading west, down the M4 corridor to Paulton Rovers, right in the heart of Midsomer Murders Country. Three 9 Seater minibuses will be heading down the M4 if you see us give us a wave.
Paulton Rovers are quite a bit higher than City in the league, but haven’t had a great run of form recently, since the new year they actually have a worse record with more losses, so City should head into this game in good heart.
Come On You City!!!
A cracking result, and a cracking team performance, Lance Banton-Brown (henceforth known as Super Sub) just can’t stop scoring against Bishop’s Cleeve, a brace at their ground in December & One today.
City’s survival hopes given a huge boost by a deserved victory against fellow strugglers today.
Come On City.
More Photos Here
Guildford City mugged Bishop’s Cleeve back in December, they fully expected to give City a spanking on a mid-week awayday with a massively depleted squad, so depleted that City only had one player on the bench, several very young, inexperienced players and a couple of returning players. In fact the majority of the team had never been on the football pitch together before.
However City overcame, and a LANCE BANTON-BROWN brace in the second half meant that the journey home was one were the City Fans & Players had all of the smiles.
Bishops Cleeve visit the Spectrum in Guildford tomorrow (Saturday) at 1500hrs, I hope that most of the Sweeney can make it to cheer on the City. We could really do with an effective Twelfth Man.
With luck City will be wearing the smiles again after this meeting of the two.
Come On City.
Assuming the that weather improves, GCFC are off on their travels again this weekend to Cirencester. So I will be re-familiarising myself with the M4 corridor, at least as far as junction 15, as I am piloting the team bus.
With so many games postponed since the New Year, the team must be gagging to getting some pitch time under their belts. As a photographer I am also looking forward to actually taking some photographs, preferably without the need to have the kit bag & equipment needing two days in the airing cupboard afterwards.
Up the City….
UPDATE: Match Postponed, waterlogged pitch.
Awayday trip for Guildford City FC this weekend. Three 9 seater minibuses will be
racing thrashing speeding driving sedately from the Guildford City Football Club’s Home Ground at the Spectrum to play Taunton Town in Somerset.
I shall be a) Driving one of the buses, & b) photographing the match for the club and the local rags. The only concern that I might have is that the people of Somerset might be surprised at 3 Horseless Carriages arriving at the ground, and they may object to having the souls taken by the camera equipment. 🙂
260 mile round trip, not the worst journey of the season, that comes next week when GCFC play Merthyr Town.
Looking out the window, the Sun is out (and has been for some time) and it is pleasant outdoors.
So yet another another game that will need to be played on a weekday evening, which is tough for players with work commitments, the only positive is that at least it is at home.
I am looking to attract sponsors & advertisers for the 2014/15 football season for the Guildford City Football Club. I am hoping that we can maintain existing arrangements with sponsors and attract new ones as well.
The final touches to the commercial brochure have been completed and it is now available to download here.
If you require further details or wish to arrange an appointment to discuss the opportunities available, please contact me on 075 88 66 9580 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
It was nice to have some great coverage in the Surrey Advertiser last weekend, hopefully we can continue to secure similar coverage from now until the end of the season, I guess that will depend on Guildford City winning more games than they currently have done. Hopefully the Guildford City v Godalming Town Derby last night will also gain some publicity.
I am slightly biased about Guildford City getting local newspaper coverage, as one of my missions this year is to secure additional sponsorship which can only be helped by some good publicity.
GCFC host Wimborne Town at the Guildford Spectrum on Saturday, assuming that the weather permits it, we were a little fortunate to get the match on on Wednesday night, thanks to the hard work of the GBC & volunteers we were able to play, however the weather forecast is not good, with Rain predicted all day on Friday. Just hope that it stays away
Wimborne (The Magpies) hosted Guildford City at Cuthbury earlier in the season, where they romped home with an 8-1 victory. Whilst they are some 12 places ahead of where City current reside, I can’t see them winning by the same margin. In fact I can see GCFC giving them a proper game, as long as we can keep 11 players on the pitch for 90 minutes!
Kevin Rayners Red & White Army!!
For the first 20 minutes or so, until the sending off of Jamie Thoroughgood, Guildford City were all over the visitors, testing their goalkeeper on at least 3 occasions. After the red card (for a foul, being the last man, and allegedly a goal scoring chance some 30 yards out) the balance of the game changed, and Godalming were in the ascendancy testing the in-form City keeper Antony Hall. In the second half Antony Hall made his second penalty save of the season, and also pulled off several other outstanding saves. When the numbers were evened up, after a Godalming Town player was sent off, the balance changed again and City started to apply pressure at the other end.
Then not long before the end of the game, a second yellow card for an unnecessary tackle in the oppositions half of the pitch by the corner flag by Darren Stapleton saw him earn his second Yellow Card of the game. Having only just come back from a 2 match suspension, it looks like he will be suspended again.Anyway a satisfactory draw, considering. If Guildford had been able to keep 11 players on the pitch I think that a fairly comfortable win would have been on the cards.
Anyway the next game that I am covering for GCFC is against Wimborne Town at the Guildford Spectrum. Wimborne are currently sitting in 10th place in the league with 34 points, whereas City are second bottom. However with the personnel changes since they last played, I can’t see Wimborne romping to a 7 goal margin again.
Ok so the Fleet Town v Guildford City FC match at the weekend was cancelled due to a waterlogged pitch, so will be rescheduled sometime soon. The next match is the Wey Valley Derby between Guildford City & local rivals Godalming Town on Wednesday.
Godalming Town currently have the bragging rights after GCFC lost 1-0 at Wey Court earlier in the season, but with the much changed line up, hopefully City will be able to reverse the result at the Spectrum.
Godalming Town is currently ground sharing with GCFC after their ground & club house were badly damaged by flooding over the holiday period.
Come On City!!!
Guildford City were hosting Clevedon Town yesterday, and managed to record only their 4th win of the season. During the first half, City created numerous chances but ended up looking down the barrel of defeat.
But with the sharp youngster Sam Spencer scoring twice & contributing with an assist for the own goal City ran out 3-2 winners, “Come On You City”, “Kevin Rayner’s Red & White Army”
Guildford City FC are meant to be playing away at Swindon Supermarines tomorrow, however the weather seems to want us to play on a weekday evening, which is a real pain in the arse as it is always difficult to field a strong team away from home on weekdays. Players have work commitments and whilst Swindon isn’t the furthest ground in the league from Guildford it still means players have to get there 1 & 1/2 hours before kick off add to that at least 2 hours journey for most of the players.
Anyway pitch inspection tomorrow morning at 1030hrs, judging by the weather forecast, it will most like involve checking the depth at the shallow end & posting the appropriate signs around the pitch.
Anyway off shortly to the New Years Party & Buffet at the Guildford City Club, for copious amounts of music, food & most importantly drink, Yay.
Happy New Year to you all.
Eventually we got on the road at 1050hrs, and headed off to the west country. Yate Town to be precise which is very close to Sodding Chipbury. Just over 100 miles each way in a Minibus restricted to 62mph, makes the M4 seem a very dull stretch of road, a quick food stop at Chieveley Services and then on to the ground where we arrived in good time (indeed maybe a first that we had 15 players at the oppositions ground at 1330hrs). However the match kit was travelling in a different vehicle. Although it did arrive eventually there were concerns that the GCFC Awayday jinx had struck again.
Anyway the Awayday jinx did strike despite a reasonably solid performance a couple of errors ended up Guildford losing 4-1. City really now need to put a run of results together in January, otherwise they will lose touch completely with the teams ahead of them, they probably also need to hope that other results are kind to them.
Anyhoo the next match is away at Swindon Supermarines on New Years Day, I am figuring that my hangover might prevent my attendance, then after that we are at home to Mangotsfield, who we lost to first game of the season, 5-3 having conceded twice in the first three minutes. After that there should be a re-scheduled match against Godalming Town.
Damed that was wet, I have been wetter, but only in the bath. Today I was at Thatcham Town Fc v Guildford City FC in the Calor League South & West Division One, which according to the FA is a local derby (a 100 mile round trip) It started pissing down with rain about 3 minutes into the match and then stopped when the Referee blew for half time.
The first three or four minutes of the second half were dry, after that it pissed down even harder than the first half.
Oh well, if the weather keeps this up, the Boxing Day match will most likely be cancelled, which is probably just as well, as it will give the camera kit a chance to dry out.