Video: Iran's Ahmadinejad and Bolivia's Morales play football



Video: Iran's Ahmadinejad and Bolivia's Morales play football | World news | guardian.co.uk
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Goalkeepers Are Idiots pt II

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Japanese football team v100 KIDS

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Steven Gerrard Was A Middlesborough Fan

Think it's unlikely that the sainted Stevie G was a regular at Ayresome Park? No more unlikely than him being a master of time travel. Or a member of the Tony Mowbray fan club.


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Family, Barrio, Club

A lovely little short film depicting life for fans of Benfield, in Buenos Aires. Serves as a nice counter-balance to this excellent piece about violence in Argentinian football.



Family, Barrio, Club - Passport Soccer blog
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Sky Sports News. A Tribute.

This made me do several laughings. With my mouth, and my belly.

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Evo-Stik Makeover Competiton

A brave new dawn has befallen the Northern Premier League. New sponsors, still sticky, but full of fresh ideas. And as witness to this, Evo-Stik have offered a £10000 makeover to the club that we, the Great British viewing public, deem to be most deserving.

Well, dear reader, watch this. And then tell me anyone else can be more deserving



I went to Rushall once. It was so foggy I have no idea if any of this is true.
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Wayne Rooney Gets The Skinner Treatement

Wayne Rooney. A highly complex character. Possibly.

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"Sir" Ian Holloway, anyone?

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Alone In The Away End

Only one hardy soul travelled to watch Sandefjord play Aalesund in the Norwegian top division. This, following hot on the heels of no-one travelling to watch Histon play at Wrexham.

As this story explains Tor Jørgen Svanberg found himself out-numbered three - to - one by stewards, and personally thanked by the players for making the effort.


Amazingly, it isn't the first time Svanberg has been on his own watching Sandefjord. He experienced a similar feeling of isolation during a recent visit to Tromso. But on that occassion his fellow fans did at least have the defence of there being an ash cloud hindering their travel arrangements. That said, he made it, so why didn't they? 
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My vote for the Mayor of Winnipeg

I don't normally participate in politics, local or national. I could bore you with the whys and the wherefores. And we could probably have a fruitful discussion about the flaws in  my argument.

That said, I may emmigrate

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Who The Hell Is Roberto Carlos?

That fat-thighed gimp Carlos has nothing on this kid

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When Saturday Comes

A few weeks ago, you might have noticed that no-one bothered to watch Histon play at Wrexham. That's not to say that there was no-one there. But those who were came in support of the home team. Not one solitary soul travelled across from Cambridgeshire to cheer on the Stutes.

The interweb being the loving and caring place it is, this news was initially met with raucous laughter. But then it dawned on the more wooly out there that this was actually a "bad thing". And so it was that the fine folk over at The DA took it upon themselves to create "Histon Day". A call to arms for all the ghosts, ghouls and Hassan Kachlouls of the footballing blogosphere to raise their cynical arses from behind their keyboards and actually do something.

This Saturday, the 16th of October for those without access to a Gregorian calender, Histon travel to Forest Green, in a battle of what many might term "who, and where?" A beautiful part of the world, and worthy of a visit at the best of times. But, with the arrival of Histon, the perfect excuse to show that your interest in football goes a little further than slating Alan Shearer, or berating the match day official. 

So get yourselves down to Nailsworth this Saturday. Enjoy a pre-match cocktail in the Egypt Mill. And then don your crampons for the trek up Nympsfield Road. It'll all be worth it.







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Radcliffe Olympic 3

Tipton Town 3

FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round


Confucious say: "sometimes in life you get what you deserve. Sometimes in life you are spoiled. And sometimes you are robbed."

As the lowest ranked team left in this year's FA Cup, Radcliffe Olympic were always going to be the underdogs no matter who they got drawn against. Make no mistake, there were much tougher teams in the hat than Tipton Town, but equally any table-topping team is going to rock up to your gaff brim full of confidence.


Pete Soaks Up The Pre-Match Atmosphere
After a relaxing pint in the Manvers Arms (another decent pub. Two in two weeks. Things are looking up), I strolled down Wharf Lane, handed over my £5 and joined the slowly burgeoning ranks of intrigued locals and visitors.


Having visited Radcliffe Olympic only a few weeks ago, the layout was still familiar. The two-deep stand on the far side provides the only cover, but hard standing around all sides provides a good starting point for further improvements which will hopefully come from some of the proceeds of this cup run.

I didn't blog the last trip, so didn't get an opportunity to eulogise about the dugouts-on-wheels. But the entire set up of Radcliffe is flat pack. No sooner does the final whistle go, than the goals are dismantled, the partitioning on the near side taken up, and the dugouts are literally wheeled off. Ten minutes from the climax of the game, you wouldn't know there had been anything other than a kids kick about going on.


But enough of this idle tittle tattle. You are here for hard-nosed reportage, I know this. So hard-nosed reportage ye shall have.


Radcliffe came out of the blocks all guns blazing, and clearly fancied their chances of causing an upset. One of the many misapprehensions about football at this level is that it is just hit and hope. Thankfully, in front of the bumper crowd, both sides put the lie to this. Eager to use their flanks whenever they could, Radcliffe attacked frequently and effectively, whilst Tipton were more direct, but equally adventurous. It made for a cracking game, and one which hopefully will have converted a few of the no doubt Forest-leaning locals to pop down again.


After about 15 minutes, Radcliffe went one up. Three minutes later they were two up. Both coming from defensive mix ups, and being shared between the lively front two. It lead, inevitably, to Radcliffe sitting back a bit, and allowing Tipton to come on to them. Where once the defence looked calm and assured, they were now eager to repell the ball at the first opportunity. But Radcliffe still posed a threat, and coukd, possibly have should, have gone three up moments before Tipton finally broke down their resolve. On 33 minutes, a shot across the keeper left him wrong-footed, and the game was back on.


If I'd filmed this, you'd be seeing a goal
Tipton continued to press, now believing they had a hope after all. A needless free kick was launched in to the box as the ref checked his watch fr half time. Radcliffe didn't deal with it, and the ball finally found it's way in to the back of the net. A cruel blow, but Tipton deserved it for not letting their heads drop.


The second half couldn't possibly live up to this, could it? Well, yes. And no.


Both sides continued to attack. Radcliffe believed they could score again. Tipton believed they would score again. But the goals didn't come for either side. The clock ticked on. Talk started to move to planning trips to the Black Country on Wednesday night. Substitutions came and went. One of Radcliffe's was dismissed for, well, your guess is as good as mine. Or anyone else's at the match. A truly inexplicable decision that even the youthful lino was at a loss to explain.


It got busier
Seeing their opponents down to ten men, Tipton got another wind, and pushed on again. As we moved in to injury tim, a free kick from the right was floated over the near post, Radcliffe didn't deal with it, and the ball was bundled over the line to the jubilation of players and travelling supporters. Radcliffe players slumped to the floor, their valiant efforts all seemingly for nought. They trudged back to the centre circle, and kicked off. The ref looked at his watch. The ball was punted forwards in desperation as much as hope. The ref checked his watch for a second time. The number 10, "Westy", a player who promised much, but had delivered painfully little throughout the previous 94 minutes, had his back to goal, level with the penalty spot. And then, inexplicably, he has hauled to the floor. A penalty!!! With literally seconds to go. You can see the drama unfold below.




video


And with that, the ref blew for full time. 3-3. A proper cup tie, and a scoreline which flattered no-one. Radcliffe could have won it, they had enough chances. But Tipton kept on believing, and for that alone they deserve a second bite at the cherry.


This is Radcliffe Olympic's first ever experience of the FA Cup. Someone should probably tell them that not all cup campaigns are this much fun.


(more photos here)
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Football Never Goes Out Of Fashion

Ah, the 1970s. A noble decade of browns and oranges. Of teenage rebellion and political greyness. The decade of my birth. Not the decade of the birth of The 66 POW though.

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What I Have Been Reading Wk 3










Mirko Bolesan
Is just before half-time a good time to score?










Twohundredpercent
The Sordid Pleasure Of The Mass Brawl


And a couple of other bits that I stumbled upon....




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Grabbing A Handful

Shirt tugging. It may be the bane of pundit's lives, but to the out-paced defender, it can be a gift from the gods. Done correctly, it can spare them many a blush. Done incorrectly, however, they do run the risk of looking like a prize chump.

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It Could Have Been A Yellow.

Good to know the pie-eyed manager is a universal beast

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Advice For All Goalkeepers

Keep your wits about you at all times. Especially in the third minute of added time when you are 3-2 up

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I Disagree With That Decision, Referee

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David Villa. Star of the NBA

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The Curzon Ashton Programme Shop

Oh yeah. We're aiming for that niche keyword market now. Other blogs may target "Britney naked" or "betting tips" or "free ipad". But here at BTFM, such tawdry tactics aren't for us. We know what you, the readers, the lifeblood of this blog, want. And we know it isn't titillating pictures of nubile pop-stars. If it were, this blog would be far more upbeat, I assure you.

So, as reward for your persistence, I give you Curzon Ashton's programme shop. Really. As mentioned on the BBC Non League Show, which you can listen to just to the right of this post. 




If you have any complaints about quality of camera work, please address them to @AshCork


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The Best Goal You Will Ever See

Some boast, yes. Until...



Cheeky backheel to The72football and mirkobolesan for the spot
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Housekeeping

Over the course of the last few weeks, I have neglected my blogging duties for one reason or another. The games have been attended, but I just couldn't find the time or inclination to write them up. So there are a fair few photos and videos that you, my adoring public, have been clamouring to see, which have, up until last night, remained out of the public arena.

So, for those of you so disposed, please find below links to:






It reads like the world's worst travelogue, I know. But I like to think of myself as the yin to Danny Last's European Football Weekends' yang.

I can also offer you some poorl focused calamitous goalkeeping from the Sutton Glapwell game. In the keepers defence, he is nominally a left back, but still, as he's on my Facebook friends, I think it is only fair to let others see.




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Doesn't Smell Like Team Spirit

Thurnby Nirvana 1
Shifnal Town 2

AND just like that, the Beat The First Man football blog of indistinction is back. By dope demand, as King Bee might have it. And you thought there musical content was predictable. In yo' face, blogosphere.

I have been looking for an opportunity to visit Thurnby Nirvana ever since I learned that Thurnby Nirvana existed. They're called Thurnby Nirvana for crying out loud! Why would you not visit?

A Beer Bore's Delight
PREMATCH cocktails were taken in the Cow and Plough. Not really within walking distance, but such a cracking pub that you really should make the effort to visit if you ever find yourself in the Leicester area. Really, it is a stonker. And then it was off to Dakyn Road for some FA Vase action.

MY heart sank. If the name promised much, the approach did all it could to piss on my dreams. Set in the midst of a bleak housing estate that Mike Leigh might think twice about, it was as far mystical as Michael MacIntyre is from rib-tickling. The Bone Shaker shuddered to a halt on the road outside the ground, and I made my disheartened way inside.

I say "inside", but having navigated one of those queues they lay out in the Post Office, which wind hither and thither for half a mile for no discernible reason, I was greeted by a clubhouse you couldn't swing a kitten in. Inside a man grated cheese.

Got Crampons?
THE ground itself is about 400 metres below sea-level, meaning that spectators either enjoy panoramic views from what passes as an accidental sun terrace, negotiate their way down the Cresta Run, or opt for the most oddly positioned stand I have witnessed on my travels.

WITH hard standing on three sides, it seemed odd that so many folk congregated on the far side (this is of course a relative "so many") but once stood amongst them, it was apparent that this was Hopper Central. Tips  on comb-overs, memories of Aldi shopping bags, and experiences of the Sex Offenders Register all readily exchanged.

THE home side set themselves up 4-4-2, whilst Shifnal, celebrating their first mention in this post, opted for a slightly more unpredictable 5-3-2. Although a cynic might contend this was more of a 4-3-2, such was the ease with which Nirvana got down the right hand flank. They could have gone ahead in a matter of moments, when the first of many forrays down that wing saw a ball cut across the face of the goal, but the Nirvana strike force reluctant to break in to a sweat to get on the end of it.

AND so began the in-fighting. They say a team reflects it's manager, and never was this more self-evident than within the ranks of Thurnby Nirvana. Their manager, who's name I cannot fathom, does little on the sidelines other than bellow and berate. This attitude of impending failure carries itself through his team, as they heckle and cristicise each other at every opportunity. Misplaced passes, straying out of position, and all other standards of the non-league, and indeed the professional game, are highlighted. But the positives regularly pass by unheralded. It makes for an ugly and uninspiring team performance, and fairly stultifying viewing.

Some Grown Men, Running.

IN a rare moment of clarity, after 20 minutes, Jordan Smith, who could still be playing at a much higher level if he could arsed, worked his way into the Shifnal box, before chipping over the onrushing keeper. One nil, and, in the interests of balance, wholly deserved. Shifnal had offered little, looked horribly exposed on their left hand side, and really were there for the taking.

SO obviously Thurnby retreated in to their shells, and Shifnal began to work out how to play against them "Get it to Rico, and let him turn them" was the call. Rico thought he was good. He had highlights. And Fancy Dan boots. He had to be, surely?

WITH thoughts of halftime oranges in everyone's minds, Shifnal got themselves a corner. Perhaps thinking their manager needed something extra to bollock them for over the next fifteen minutes, Nirvana allowed the aforementioned Rico to ghost in towards the far post, and wallop, the BTFM Outside Broadcast Unit picks up the story:

video

SECOND half I figured I would take my leave of the corduroy set, and took up a vantage point on top of Alpe D'Huez. Having never scaled anything higher than a mole hill, I can only assume that the smell of weed is synonymous with lack of oxygen at such heights, and that seasoned mountaineers are used to the sensation.

AFTER an hour, Shifnal broke through the home defence, only for their previously anonymous striker to be hacked down ruthlessly. See the subsequent drama unfold below in substandard technicolour:


video

THERE now follows a confession. Halfway through the second half Thurnby had a player sent off. I have no idea what for, although I assume it was a bad tackle as there was a Shifnal bloke lying prone on the floor as he wandered off. He would have stayed on the pitch too, as the ref seemed to have neglected to pack that integral part of the refs armoury, the red card. Apparently, it needs brandishing, as simply saying "OFF!!" does not constitute correct procedure. If the lino hadn't rushed to his aide, we could have had all manner of hi-jinx.

DOWN to ten men, Nirvana were up against it. The managers insistence that they "delivah" whenever the ball crossed the half way line wasn't helping, as the Shifnal back three had no problems dealing with high balls. It was the only area of the pitch they had any physical presence, and yet Thurnby continued to play right in to their hands. They continued to get joy past both fullbacks, but lacked the killer ball. A shame, because with the right service one imagines their forwards would be a real threat. And hopefully more interested.

Something Dramatic Nearly Happens
THURNBY Nirvana's problem seems to be that they don't like each other. It is always someone else's fault when it goes wrong. The concept of The Team is a hard one to quantify, but on this showing it is something they are a long way from. At full time, the shouty gaffer cut a forlorn figure as he trudged back to the dressing room, no doubt to do some more shouting and swearing. I suppose you could argue that Kurt would be happy with such a carry on. He was never the happiest soul, and not even his mother would claim he had the voice of an angel. Ah well, nevermind.

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Heroism

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