The great thing about friendlies is the unlikely pairings they sometimes throw together. Take the fixture last night that pitched Sheffield United from England’s League One against Turkish Champions, Fenerbahce; brought about by Blades Director Selahattin Baki who hails from Turkey. It was arranged to mark the 125th Anniversary of Sheffield United and to raise money for the Turkish Mining Disaster Fund.
Last weekend saw the 2013/14 league programme in the Premier and First Division of the Toolstation Northern Counties East League (NCEL) completed. However, there was one last game before the curtain came down on the NCEL season, and that was the League Cup Final at Bradford City AFC.
On 05 October 2013 Guiseley AFC slumped to a 4-1 defeat at Altrincham and after 10 games of the 2013/14 season they had just 8 points. Thoughts of a fourth successive trip to the Conference North Play-Offs must have seemed a very distant dream for The Lions.
Football is all about routine for fans and this Saturday that seemed to resonant even more than usual as games up and down the country were involved in marking the 25th Anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy.
It’s almost ten years to the day since I last watched Fulham at Manchester City. Back then, on 27 March 2004, it was a very different scenario to the one today. With eight games to play, Fulham still harboured ambitions of a getting into one of the European spots, while City were only 4 points off the relegation zone. How times have changed. However for all that was riding on the game, the Fulham website summarised the subsequent 0 – 0 draw as, “a game sparse of quality”. At the end of that 2003/04 season City finished 16th in the Premier League with 41 points, whilst Fulham ended seven places higher and with 11 more points. The teams that day were: