…football fan to turn up to a match that has been abandoned.   It’s not too bad if you live reasonably locally, which is often the case if you follow a Ryman League team.   The reason for the decision was that the pitch was waterlogged.  Not sure where all that water came from – it really tipped down on Friday but Harrow Borough’s ground was ok for the match on Saturday where they hammered Hendon 6-1.   It rained in Finchley on Monday night but certainly not like on Friday so either Harrow experienced a deluge of biblical ark proportions or the wetness that the referee felt on his boots was him peeing himself at the idea of extra time and penalties in North London on a Tuesday night 😉   Either way, here I was with no floodlights and no match.

Fortunately – I love taking photographs as a hobby and, as I take photos of our team in action, I had the camera with me ready to go.

DM41448 at South Harrow Station
DM41448 at South Harrow Station

A walk though South Harrow provides a number of photographic opportunities.   Shaftesbury Circle is interesting in the early evening with people popping in and out of Tesco Express.   South Harrow provides the traffic around the Half Moon public house at the end of Northolt Road and the shops selling fruit and veg to the south of the Piccadilly line.    Then there is the station and its associated bus terminus – many fascinating things for the photographer interested in night photography.   I love my football but I’m sometimes so glad that it isn’t my only interest 🙂

So Ryan Babel is likely to face an FA Inquisition after posting a depiction of Howard Webb in a Manchester United shirt on his twitter account.   In truth he was probably only displaying a visual representation of what most Liverpool Fans believe and probably a lot of neutrals as well – that Mr. Webb has made a pact with the Red Devils, though quite what he is getting for selling his soul remains a mystery.  The keys to Sir Alex’s wine cellar perhaps?

The penalty decision that seems to have prompted Babel’s ill judged efforts in Adobe Photoshop certainly looked a bit harsh (to a neutral).  The fact that Dimitar Berbatov has felt the need to claim that there was enough contact for him to lose his balance suggests that he is concerned that people believe that he dived.  The various slow motion camera views of the incident suggest that he must have felt the hairs on Agger’s socks.   Whatever the truth of the matter, it seems to be written into every striker’s contract today that they must go to ground in the box at any time when there is the possibility of gaining a penalty.

Is Howard Webb (or any other referee) actually likely to show favouritism to Manchester United? –  Probably not.   The reality is that everyone wants their team, and frequently other people’s teams, to beat Man U.   Anything that seems to make that more difficult is likely to upset non-Man U fans everywhere.   Never can a club have become so universally hated that refereeing decisions or errors are dressed up as bias in favour of that club.   Referees tend to have bad days (too many of them) but the fans only tend to notice the decisions that go against what they wish to be – so Man U 1 any other team 0 will always be Ref’s Fault.   I did notice that there wasn’t much injury time today – if it had been 1-0 to Liverpool on 90 minutes there would have been at least 6 minutes wouldn’t there 😉

A dilemma I have for every away game.   The decision is usually swayed by ease of access to the ground using public transport.   Today Wingate & Finchley are away to Romford FC which, in reality, means a trip to Aveley’s ground near Thurrock as they are currently ground sharing.   I could drive there but my better half might need the car this afternoon.   If Romford FC were playing in Romford itself I’d be able to use the train from Liverpool Street.   Reading in the ever-useful Wikipedia I see that they were given the go ahead in 2009 to build a new stadium on London Road – I wonder if the change of government has put the mockers on that one?    In fact there seems to be no further mention of it since November 2009, so perhaps it had already stalled at the formal land handover stage.   It would be nice to know that the club will eventually get somewhere to call home.

Anyway, a quick look at the Romford FC website reveals that there is going to be a pitch inspection at 10am.  I wonder if they had as much rain yesterday as we had here in Finchley.  If so, the Thames is likely to have swallowed Thurrock and the surrounding area – sea legs being a requirement at the best of times in the low lying parts of Essex.    I shall await the result with bated breath as the game being called off is as good an excuse as any for not going 😉

ps – 10:30 and I see the game is on – Come on you Blues!   (Sorry I won’t be there to watch)

pps – 13:00 – back from the shopping and I see the game has now been called off!   The sky did look rather black to the east – it seems the original post on the Romford FC site was a bit premature.   The joys of non-league footie in the deep and soggy mid-winter 😦


All thoughts expressed are my own and do not represent the views of Wingate & Finchley FC.