Friday, 21 July 2017

Not a good start....


...PATGOD has barely got back from the Summer break, ready to train hard ahead of the new season, when the debacle of the Maunsell Cup Final hit us.

Link to - Poppies take it in the Ar*e from NFA and NTFC

Even after putting out two official statements the Club has still to state the actual reason we all should de-camp to Wellingbrough.  It's the pitch.  It's not the pitch.  It's the floodlights.  It's not the floodlights.

All that comes across in the statements is that we've basically been bullied into moving this "prestige" fixture to another ground, in another town.  Sorry, but our Officials would have come out of this better by detailing the exact issues NFA and NTFC have.  And then cancelling the game.  And then refusing to enter the Hillier Senior Cup this season.  Let's face it, other than winning it the entire competition is a joke that gets in the way of proper games.

The Northants Football Association have shown for the umpteenth time they can't run a bath.  We ask once again - just what is the point of the organisation other than to give us a fixture backlog and treat us with zero respect?

Genuinely, what do they do?  Their website lists a whole heap of Chairmen, Directors, Presidents and Vice Presidents.  No doubt all fine chaps who are perfectly at home in the NFA Boardroom, or at the local Golf course, or Tory fundraisers or indulging in obscure Freemason ceremonies, but they don't actually run anything to do with football.  No Teams, no Divisions, no Leagues.  Just a poxy Cup competition that is so popular, clubs are forced to enter or risk being fined.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Farewell Liam

Liam Canavan's departure from Latimer Park has been greeted with a resounding "Meh" from Poppies fans.  Which is sad.

Liam was a player who could completely change a game.  For good or ill.  Or both.  Often at pretty much the same time.  Even his supporters, of which I am one, would cheerfully have throttled him half of the time.

But while he will be fondly remembered for his ability to cleanly strike a ball better than anyone else currently playing in Poppies red, he certainly won't be missed for his often pointless little flicks and touches which served only to baffle all at the game, including, I daresay, himself.

Liam has something.  We can all see it.  But will he ever show it consistently?  Or even twice in a game?  Over a couple of seasons here can it honestly be said that he noticeably improved ?  Even his diving (which he assiduously continued to work on) still looks like a five year old throwing himself to the floor in a tantrum over a cuddly-toy that's not even really wanted.

He now has another chance at Conference North level, albeit in a team pretty much guaranteed to be in a relegation battle from mid-September onwards - and all the best to the lad.

But what's the betting that his 2017-2018 season looks a bit like this: -


  • Starts in the Leamington team
  • Spell on the bench
  • Spell out of the squad
  • Dual registration with the Poppies
  • Starts in the Poppies team
  • Spell on the bench
  • Spell out of the squad
  • Return to Leamington in time to be released.....



Liam contemplates life in the fast lane.
At Leamington.....

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Wow! I can't believe we all missed this!


Georgy Porgy's ban is up!

Five years are up?

So soon?

Let's all agree not to let him know where we are these days.  Hopefully if he goes over to Non Park he'll think the Poppies have gone the same way......Had he remained that surely would have been our fate.


"Tenner says you'd love me back.
No, twenty.  No, thirty.
I don't have a gambling problem.  Really."

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Attendances - Part Two

Straight away I've got to admit I've leaned very heavily on the Southern League Website and, even more so, on the "Turnstile League" section of the Kings Lynn FC website when putting this piece together.  Have a gander The Turnstile League here - Turnstile League, and save it into your favourites section.  Perhaps replace the old Poppynet link you still have?

As we know, there are probably more former-Football League clubs bumming around at the non-league level than ever before.  And not just in the top division.  York, Stockport and Kidderminster are all currently just one sh*t-season away from sampling the delights of Latimer Park!

This glut of ex-League teams means there are a lot of clubs getting enormous gates in context of their non-league status.  Tranmere and Lincoln both pulled in average home gates of over 5000 this season.  Mind you, that only tells part of the story.  Lincoln had their best season for, well, probably ever.  5000+ for them is dream-land.  In the meantime, a crowd of 5000 at Prenton Park probably looks very spartan!  And those in attendance are probably still shell-shocked at being a non-league club and then losing out to the hobby-humus club from Nailsworth in the play-off final.  Forest Green Rovers managed to lose 5 supporters compared to the season before, despite promotion.  That said, an average gate of 1753 is not to be sniffed at when you have a population of under 6000.

But, who cares what other clubs did?  What about the mighty Poppies?  Overall our average league gate dropped from 522 to 502.  Does mean the 20 biggest whingers on Poppies Chat Facebook group actually put their money where their considerable mouths were and stopped attending?  We can but hope!  502 isn't a great average gate by KTFC standards.  However it was still the fourth highest average gate in our division last season.

And we had the most consistent support in the division.  Consistent?  How does that work?

Our highest gate of 658 contrasted with our lowest gate (a Tuesday night game against Redditch - obviously) of 343.  343 represents a 48% differential between our largest and smallest attendances.  The "South-West Mafia" of Weymouth, Chippenham and Dorchester all had a highest attendance far in excess of ours (no doubt when playing each other), but all recorded smallest gates lower than us.  Thus, Weymouth experienced a 74% difference between highest and lowest gate.  Chippenham had a differential of 76%.

Dorchester had an eye-watering 93% difference between their highest gate - an incredible 2033 against Weymouth, and the piddling 149, no doubt for a Tuesday night February game against Redditch.  Such is Dorchester's relaince on their local derby with Weymouth, that this game accounted for over 20% of their total home support for the entire season!

A number of the newly-minted clubs also saw a surge in support.  At least until they stop winning.  AFC Fylde saw the small matter of a 275% increase in "lifelong Coasters" from 522 to 1962.  The media whores at Salford City saw gates balloon from 642 to 1395.  It's strange how the small matter of national exposure and their own BBC TV series can double your attendances!

More fun are the crowds at the lower end of the non-league scene.  Not for the small sizes of the crowds.  We're in no position to mock clubs for small crowds.  No, more enjoyable is when you see a club average exactly one person less when compared to the previous season.  It makes you wonder if something personal happened!  Or did a fan exclaim, "Shent goo agen" and actually follow through on the threat?  Then you see another team added a single fan during 2016-17 and you wonder if this fan simply changed allegiance!  But for every club in turmoil, you have a Soham Town Rangers, who averaged exactly 125 contented, steady-souls for the past couple of seasons.


"Keep-up lino!"

"Woof!"


Sunday, 4 June 2017

Anyone looking for an entirely flat piece of land in Northants?




According to the Sales Brochure this site has: -


** Two careless former tenants **

** Easy access to a tin-pot village **

** Only the outside possibility of flooding every Spring.  And Autumn.
Very rarely Winter.  Almost never Summer **

** Nearby bridge with resident troll **

** A nice new wooden fence keeping members of the valued
travelling community off the site for all of five minutes **


Offers in excess of One Billion, Billion Pounds will be considered.
Please apply to the owner, c/o Cloud Cuckoo Land.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Kettering - the 1930's Silicon Valley?


How did I not know about this?  Does anyone know about this?  I've spoken to a couple of other Kettering folk today and they also looked at me with blank faces, registering nothing (although this isn't entirely unusual).

We all know that Kettering is famous for literally a scant handful of things, so the fact that a Kettering man built a robot back in the 1930's has seriously wowed me.  Add in the fact that the robot's creator taught him to smoke, consider my gob well and truly smacked!

WTF? Robert the Kettering Robot!

Whatever next?  Will someone unearth evidence of a dinosaur known to have roamed the Grange Estate back in the 1960's, that somehow we've collectively forgotten?  What about the little known flying saucer crash at Wickies in the 1970's?  Or, even more unlikely, will proof of Mark English actually paying a Tax Bill be found?

We need to know!


Sunday, 21 May 2017

Attendances Part One


Who doesn't love looking at non-league attendances?  How amazingly small some are.  How shockingly large some are.  Admittedly, it was more fun when we were nearer to the top of the pile when it came to crowds, but still, some great stats are thrown up.

And everyone loves to massage a good attendance stat.  Even hoary club officials, who really should know better.  Many moons ago, when coming back from an away game, Peter Morris popped up on the radio, seriously bigging-up our support base.  We listened, wide-eyed as he told the interviewer that were we to get promoted to the Football League (not quite as mad an idea back then), we would be getting 4000+ through the turnstiles every week!  Wow.  That's a lot!  What a great addition we'd be to the Football League!

Not that Peter Morris was alone in cherry-picking our attendance statistics when it suited.  I've also heard Imraan Ladak use similar figures.  Probably at a time he was trying to unload us to another schmuck valued investor.

Of course, this figure of 4000+ was based almost entirely on the last two home gates the previous season, when it suddenly dawned on the people of Kettering that their local club had a really good chance of winning the league, and were it not for the fact that Maidstone United's team of exciting young talent stayed stubbornly above our team of veteran journeymen, we may well have done it.

This led to three obvious results.


  1. The gates swelled from, an already healthy 2000+, to an incredible 4000+ for the last two home games
  2. You couldn't stand anywhere near where you'd managed to comfortably stand for the previous 9-months
  3. The team shat themselves in front of a large crowd


The additional bodies who came for the last couple of games boosted our average home attendance for the 1988-89 season to a massive 2500.  To put into context, this is almost exactly 5 x what we see today.  A once-in-a-generation golden age of large gates, title attempts, FA Cup glory, and botched finances by our boardroom.

Where our rivals such as Macclesfield, Wycombe and Barnet turned such bonanza periods into new grounds, promotion, or both, our officials pluckily managed to avoid paying Tax bills, fritter away goodwill, shed support and leave us ready for being picked off by shysters like Mark English and his ilk.



Cowper Street, circa 1989 


Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Are you missing the shouts of "Marcus Out" at Latimer Park?


Is the close-season return to normal life starting to get you down?  Do you find yourself missing the constant, un-flagging anti-Marcus braying of the mouthiest elements of our support?

Well, you don't have suffer the withdrawal symptoms of being beaten around the head by the constant repetition of disgruntled Poppies fans who are amazed that a Manager isn't sacked just because they want it to happen.

KTFC Chat is for you!


Read - Repeated calls for Marcus to be sacked NOW, or earlier in history if possible!
Read - Demands for Marcus's head every time a player he once employed does absolutely anything for another club!
Read - No ideas given as to how we could accommodate 72 players that everyone thinks should still be with us.  Dubi? FFS!
Read - Anyone who has an alternative point of view be derided!
Read - Fans who are so dedicated that they are proud to announce they are no longer going to watch their team!
Read - Appeals for help at the Club be met with deafening silence!


And the School holidays haven't even started yet.  Groan!

Friday, 28 April 2017

Right or Wrong?

Right or Wrong to celebrate the distress of others?  We're going to vote "Right" or this would be a very short piece!

The Top Two clubs in the County wind-up their seasons tomorrow, although I still can't quite believe little old Brackley make up half of that particular grouping.  Other major Northamptonshire Non-League clubs' seasons also came to a sudden, inglorious ends over the past few days.  While we enjoyed a few drinks, basking in a sunny day in Banbury, others weren't having such a good time.

Corby manfully managed to snatch consecutive relegations, or at least until the end of season horse-trading at the League get together may reprieve them.  Droping two divisions in two years is pretty impressive,  Not quite as impressive as when we managed to plummet THREE divisions in two seasons,  but still not bad, as they have managed it under their own steam, entirely on merit.  Or lack thereof.

For the first time in half a dozen years Corby Town have reverted to their accustomed place in the footballing pecking order; namely looking up at the Poppies with the usual mixture of anger, bitterness and Irn Bru.

And to be honest, I'm pretty sure Corby enjoy it this way as it feeds their inferiority complex and need to be suffering a gnawing sense of injustice.  Bless.  I hope their Council builds them a new stadium to cushion the blow of being officially shite.

AFC Scum-Lite failed at the Play-Off stage again, and are in danger of acquiring a new nickname of "The Bottlers".  Being the best supported club at their level isn't doing them a tremendous amount of good.  Can you imagine the grief Marcus would get if we had the best attendances and couldn't get out of a glorified pub-league division?  He lives in fear of being hung, drawn and quartered simply for not shaking hands with people who have been screaming for his dismissal solidly for 10 months.

And yet, Andy Peake is being hailed as some kind of hero for scraping into the play-offs and then losing them again.  A round earlier than last season.

Have Scummer-Juniors hit the "wall?"  Will 30-mile rounds trips from Rushden (presumably where the majority of their supporters hail from, even though they've not played there yet) to Kempston thin their support further?

I guess we'll find out when this nonsense begins again in barely 80-days time....We really must get better, fuller lives for ourselves.


AFC Scum-Lite.  Their promotion prospects soon resembled Non Park.

Somewhere they've never played, although you'd never
realise that by listening to them.



Friday, 21 April 2017

Getting close to seasons end.....

.....and judging by elements of our support who are camped out on Facebook, it can't come a moment too soon.  Having suffered through the absolute worst season in Poppies history (finishing 9th in the league and winning the County Cup) many fans seem to be heading into the summer break questioning their continued allegiance to the club.

And who can blame them?

Does any club that doesn't win their division every year deserve to continue to exist?  Why should they?  If a club can't guarantee silverware surely they should be wound-up on the first Sunday after the season finishes?

Why can't football clubs understand the very simple fact of life that they must guarantee only two things - wins and promotion.  That's all.  Nothing else.

No-one wants to worry our waverers any more than this apocalyptic season has already disturbed them, but, and whisper it quietly, we have no guarantee of promotion next season either!  Not only will we still have the clubs in our division we couldn't beat this season, but our opponents will be augmented by all or some of the following clubs - Hereford, Salisbury, Royston, Farnborough, Margate, Worcester, Corby and the Scum-lite.

We will no longer be able to bask in the comfortable certainty of being a "big club" in a small league anymore.  For reasons I've never quite understood, too many of us seem to believe we are a fallen giant, simply awaiting our day to rise again.  Really?  We managed to squeak an average home attendance of just over 500 this year.  Hereford averaged over 2700.

And the lower reaches on non-league football, below Conference National (for us oldies) are awash with other, REAL fallen giants.  Stockport County still average over 3000.  Kiddy, Darlington, and Halifax all average over 1700 for home games.  Made-up clubs such as Fylde and FC United average about the 2000 mark.

Old friends Boston, Telford, Ebbsfleet and Altrincham all average well over 1000 per home match, even though Alty are rock bottom and about to join us at our lowly level next season their fans still turn up in good numbers.

When you put our relatively paltry gates against these clubs where does our incredible sense of entitlement come from?  Let's not deceive ourselves.  We are where we are for a reason.  We are not good enough to be higher.  We've all under-performed this season.  All of us.  As a club, from top to bottom.  Lumping all the blame on Marcus is simplistic in the extreme.

When we stop blaming Marcus, or Imraan or Latimer Park, and start turning up in the sort of numbers that comparable clubs do, we may start dragging our way back up the divisions.  If appreciable numbers of our "supporters" are waiting for Conference football or a shiny new ground before they deign to commit themselves again, there's every possibility this day will never happen.



Plenty of room for more supporters.....
 




Wednesday, 12 April 2017

You have to feel for Corby? Surely?

Poor old Corby.

They dominated for 85 minutes against a very heavy-legged, one-dimensional Poppies, who only came to life for the last 10.

A Poppies team that determinedly refused to use the fine, flat playing surface lovingly prepared for them by Paul Knowles and team. Instead they continued to play in the whole-hearted manner adopted at bobbly Latimer Park, where merely getting rid of the ball into the night sky constituted a passing game.

Poor Corby fans who had to shunt and grunt across the county in a double-decker bus - known to be the most uncomfortable of vehicular conveyances.  Not only that, but they were kept waiting in the car park on said double-decker until we had celebrated and slowly made our way back to our coach.

And after all that, the final salt in the wound came from the Poppies equaliser, which was painfully offside.  Both of Rene's shots last night dribbled ineffectually in the vague direction of the goal.  His penalty was easily saved, but, thankfully, Aaron was, ahem, well placed to roll Rene's effort into the net, and get us back into a game we were never really in.

But, it's all in the past now.  No-one (other than Paul White who surely should be drug-tested) was especially bothered about the outcome.  Best of luck to Corby for their upcoming, far more important games, and hopefully the Poppies players can keep their minds off their forthcoming beach holidays for just three more games!

Level?  Level-ish......







Sunday, 9 April 2017

It's not ALL my fault!


Every time I want to fill PATGOD with positive images like
Liam using his feet rather than his mouth.....

....people like Brett Cowen just HAVE to send me some up-to-date
shots from down Irthlingborough way.

And then I just HAVE to post them here.....

...in glorious colour.  All of them.




Damn him and his high-end camera phone!



Monday, 27 March 2017

A sunny day in Cinderford

As this season drifts sleepily towards its conclusion (only another month to go!) here’s a little scene from Saturday’s trip to Cinderford.  James B putting in another good shift on the left flank, watched by a crowd that Donald Trump would probably describe as “yuge”.  In the distance, Wales. Not every day you can see two countries whilst taking in a game. Or go back 40 years, which is my impression of a brief tour of Cinderford town centre.


But it was a nice day and good views of the action could be had from the steep grass banks on two sides. I particularly enjoyed the performance art of one young supporter, who spent most of the second half trying to decide what to do with the little flag he had brought with him. When I say little, it was like a tea towel on a stick. First he tried to spread it out on the bank, but there was a bit of a breeze and it wouldn’t lie flat.  Then after about 15 minutes of that he began experimenting with resting the stick on top of a wall, only to find it wouldn’t balance.  By this point I was gripped.  Something happened on the pitch so I was momentarily distracted.  On looking back he had gone with plan C, back to the grass bank but this time sitting on one side of the flag to try to pin it down. Even that failed to work completely.  What now?  Just when all seemed lost, Brighton banged one into the net and the boy had a brainwave.  Wave the flag!      

As I say, only a month to go…

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Mmmm - How are things progressing down the A6?


Unless we're much mistaken, this looks
an awful lot like "two down, and two to go".

C'mon guys!  No slacking off!  We want to see
just fields and brambles before the Summer!


Thanks to Matt for the photograph.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Marcus paying the price for Poppies malaise

Some of our fans really need to get a grip.  We're not going up this season.  You know, most clubs in this division aren't.  Some are going to lose out in play-offs.  Some are going to bumble along to a mid-table finish.  Others are going to fight hard to avoid relegation.  A few teams will even BE relegated.

You know what?  These things happen.  It's called FOOTBALL.

Do some of our increasingly boring, teeth-gnashing fans believe every single season since 1872 has been unparalleled success and wall-to-wall brilliance?

Whenever I hear or read phrases like "worst ever game" or "worst ever season" I really do worry about the mentality of some people.  Six years ago we were regularly shipping several goals a game in front of barely three figures, with players moving at barely walking pace, and goalkeepers not diving just in case an injury leads to their next move falling through.

Since escaping Non Park, and limping through that season split between there and Steal Park, we have been building again year on year.  Play-off followed by promotion.  Followed by falling just short of the play-offs again.  Each season showed improvement.

And now this season has seen us plateau, and some fans are absolutely losing their sh*t!  Is it what any of us want?  Of course not.  Is it the end of Western civilisation as we know it?  Of course it bloody well isn't.  Not that an outsider would realise this if they read what some of the shrieking bile our young and not-so-young supporters are spouting after every defeat, and sometimes even after the wins!

No wonder Ritchie is looking to take more of a back seat!


Thursday, 2 March 2017

Hey, what's occurring in East Northants today?



Despite the weepy, hand-wringing of a
few Scum-apologists, the joyful destruction of
Non Park continues.

Albeit too slowly for our taste. 

Latimer Park - home of the Stars



Big congrats to Poppies steward Justin Lovegrove as 
he won a pair of Brits last week.  He won the Critics Choice
and British Breakthrough Awards at a glittering
event at London's O2 Arena.

I'm sure it's no coincidence that his official absence 

at the next Poppies game coincided with a bunch 
of our teenage keyboard warriors bottling, 
big-time, the opportunity of becoming actual warriors.




In the meantime, Gregory Porter remained stoic
in the face of being passed over again for his
album, "Take Me To The Alley". 




Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Meanwhile, in Irthlingborough....

(c) Alison Bagley
Far too many people are focusing on the waste of a relatively new and supposedly well-appointed football ground.

All I can think of is, have I left it too late to apply for a job as a crane driver?

Monday, 27 February 2017

Today's action from Non Park



One down.....


 


....although some of the neighbours seem
happy with developments! 

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Today's update from the Land that Time Forgot


You keep snapping them.
I'll keep including them!

Whilst reminiscing about our former beloved home of Non Park, the question that has occurred to me from time is how and when did the ground become de-Poppied?  Let me explain further.  During our all-too-long purgatory on the banks of the Nene, the letters KT replaced RD on many surfaces, walls and even seats.  As if constantly reading our club's name would in some way convince us we were still in Kettering!

Shortly after we'd escaped from the Planet of the Apes I saw a photograph of the away end and someone had taken the time and effort to remove the "K" and "T" seats from that stand.  Did we do this?  Keith Cousens?  The ghost of R&D FC?  And why do it?  Who was it going to bother as the place rotted away?  Did someone think it would put off the next owners?

I have to assume one of the KTFC logos on the side stands is the one now at Latimer Park, but did we remove other Poppies related signage into storage, or did someone else take it upon themselves to whitewash this shameful spell from our history?  I'm not particularly bothered.  Just curious.

Tune in again tomorrow for more views of Max's folly being raised to the ground!

Friday, 24 February 2017

Meanwhile, on the banks of the Nene....



Sometimes dreams DO come true

Right or Wrong? Right - obviously!

I scared the Missus today by announcing I'd perpetrated an act that could easily be considered to one of vandalism at Kettering library.  However, her dismay turned to delight when I showed her what I'd actually done.

Nestled among flyers for local events and services were a bunch of flyers from AFC Scum!  At Kettering library!  For real!  I went from shock to disbelief to anger in rapid steps.  What the hell were these doing here - in Kettering?  In a library?  Children could have seen them!  The f**king nerve of those inbred bastards!

I scooped them all up for "recycling."  Unfortunately being glossy, I couldn't use the disposal usage that first sprang to mind.  Never mind.  The official fortnightly Council collection would have to suffice.  Maybe they would be pulped and re-used for something more useful.  Such as an airline sickbag.



Amusingly, for a club that is happy to be the bastard
offspring of R&D FC - the club that did more to wreck the genuine
non-league game than anyother club, the flyer warns that kids
shouldn't be brought up believing football is a TV programme.

No it's not.  It's also not a rich man's hobby.  Not that this
bothered them when Uncle Max's millions poured in.

Having now calmed down a bit I find I'm less annoyed with the activities of "Scum-lite" than I am with the Poppies.  Why aren't OUR flyers and fixtures being displayed at Kettering library?  And Burton library?  And Desborough library.  And Rothwell library.  And, just as soon as anyone there can read, Rushden library?

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Be Careful What You Wish For......

"Thanks" go to Richard Atkinson for reading the previous blog and linking us to footage from Wembley '79.

Great day, but -

It still hurts.....


Still, there's always these -

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Monday, 20 February 2017

Instant Replay

On Saturday, Hall scored our only goal with a gentle half volley that willo-the-wisped into the goal after tenderly kissing the underside of the crossbar.

Nothing unusual about that.  Ten minutes after getting home I watched the goal again as a Poppies fan had chosen to record that attack on his mobile phone, and then load the footage onto the internet.

The clip may still be here -

What a Cracker!

Leaving aside the expert camera-phone work - no wobble, and he sticks with the ball all the way to and from Hall's foot and into the net, Also glossing over the ridiculously good quality of the footage - since when did camera phones become so good (alternatively -  how ridiculously old and technology unsavvy am I?)  And, not ignoring for a moment Clive Shackleton's astute commentary, I can't believe I'm the only person who is amazed by the advances in technology that allows this to happen?

Week in, week out, whether it's Poppies TV, or a beery Terrace God with a mobile; for the price of an internet connection, we are treated to seeing Poppies goals on demand.  Whether it's Liam shooting from the edge of Finedon, or Rene scoring with a part of his body (as opposed to simply being the closest Poppies player when an own-goal is scored), we can settle back and bask in front of Poppies goal-glory.

We've become used to such coverage.  It's part and parcel of modern football, But you don't have to go back many years when such visual entertainment would have been seen as witchcraft.  Nothing more, nothing less.

I saw Rene Howe's recent winner at Hayes & Yeading, filmed from 2 different angles.  Which is one more angle that I've seen Robbie Cooke's goal at Charlton, or Phil Brown's great goal at Blackburn.  Famous goals from our history, where thousands of us roared with delight, generated less actual footage than a nothing league game in front of a few hundred bodies.

What about the Poppies at Wembley in 1979?  I've never seen any film from that game.  The largest ever grouping of Poppies supporters in history and I've seen more video from our last game away at North Greenford United from a couple of seasons ago, although this may be mainly because I recorded it!


Sunday, 19 February 2017

Lincoln's Perfect Day

Huge congrats to Lincoln for flying the non-League flag all the way to the quarter finals. Furthest a non-League side has got since 1914 apparently. But that was when the League only had two divisions, so no comparison really.  This is totally new territory. If it wasn’t for the fact they are an ex-League set up with an ex-League fanbase, this would feel even more like a fairy tale, but by any standards it’s an amazing achievement.

From the highlights, it’s clear that this was no fluke.  They went there to win, even pushing men forward in the 89th minute rather than playing for time.  An interesting contrast with us taking the ball into the corner yesterday to protect a lead against the mighty Kings Langley.  Also top marks to the Imps for winding up Joey Barton (admittedly not quite such a challenge: this is a man who can be provoked by breathing the same atmosphere).

It was good to see Barton tangling with an old fashioned striker like something from a pub team, and a pleasingly retro Bobby Charlton comb-over. There aren’t enough people in the modern game that clearly don’t spend much time in front of a mirror.   Also great to see the goal celebrated by fans going absolutely mental like you or I would, rather than taking photos on their phones or clearly only there for the occasion with their brand new scarves.

For Burnley it was karma biting them on the arse after the famous day in 1987 when they were at the bottom of the old Division Four and scraped a win which sent Lincoln down to the Conference.

For Lincoln, it could still get better. This run isn’t over yet. They’re possibly only two games from Europe, for crying out loud.

At this point, having given Lincoln all due praise we must conclude by citing our record against them.  Played 6, won 5, drew 1, lost nil. We even managed to do the double in the Non Park season, when everything else was going tits up.
 
This is completely irrelevant to what happened yesterday or indeed our present situation, but it makes me feel better to get it out there again.

Friday, 10 February 2017

A Week On.....

.....and no change with the KTFC Forum.


http://www.ktfcforum.co.uk/


I'm not sure whether the lack of change is the saddest thing, or the fact none of the Forum invitees has chosen to write anything.

Or possibly even notice....!



Kenilworth locals eagerly await Kettering Town
supporters discussing of their football team,
and presumably calling for sweeping changes
to the Management.


Sunday, 5 February 2017

Poppies Forums' Ignominious Ending

For those not entirely happy to plunge headlong into the anti-Marcus bear pit of Facebook's KTFC Chat, the alternatives for online Poppies discussion are growing increasingly thin on the ground.  Not so long ago we had the venerable Poppynet and upstart KTFC Forum to splurge our post-match thoughts on to.

Poppynet was wiped out by a worldwide f*ck-up by 123Reg, leaving us all lumping our Poppies-writing eggs into the KTFC Forum basket.

And then, KTFC Forum vanished too!

Unless we all set-up our own Poppies blogs, (well, I have...) how the hell are we supposed to natter anonymously about KTFC?  Oh, other than actually chat to one another at a match, of course.  What the hell are we to do?

Thankfully,  KTFC Forum soon re-appeared.  Or at least, it looked like it had for a short time.  Until it was made clear that the Forum had been reborn as an invitation only platform.  Problem being no-one seems to have received an invite.  Speaking at the Biggleswade game to a few people it soon became clear that we'd all failed whatever test had been set us for continued membership.  Did anyone actually make it through the auditions?

And if you were lucky enough to find one of the golden tickets, what were your thoughts at logging on this evening to chat and wax lyrical about the comings and goings of Kenilworth Town FC?  Personally I can find no actual evidence that club still exists, but we've very kindly set this club up with a supporter forum for zero fans to discuss zero events.  I guess KTFC isn't always necessarily KTFC as we know it.....

http://www.ktfcforum.co.uk/







Thursday, 2 February 2017

Marcus keeps things interesting

Supporters of most other club must look at Marcus Law's seemingly precarious existence with a bemused eye.  They would see a club with frankly rubbish facilities, small crowds, who should have ceased to exist 5 years ago.  They would see a team 9th in the table and 6 points outside of the Play-offs.

These non-Poppies supporters might well look at the excessive way sections of our support demand Marcus's head after every game and shake their own heads in wonder.  Just as we would be amazed at a manager under threat if the above description was given about the boss at another club.  Were it not Marcus and the Poppies, we would ask how a club could possibly sack a manager with such a record.  We would bemoan knee-jerk Chairmen and fans with unrealistic expectations.

Have we had a great season so far?  No.  Have we underachieved?  Yes.  Did the Manager waste pre-season?  Definitely.  Have we had our worse season ever.  Not by a million miles!  Did we start this season expecting to steam-roller the other teams in the division because we finished last season so strongly?  You bet your skinny ass we did.  Did we put ourselves under undue pressure by having our Chairman demand promotion before a ball was kicked in anger?  Hell, yes.

Has Ritchie's bold statement-of-intent poisoned this season?  The season has not been allowed to develop naturally.  Rather than revel in some frankly astounding away victories, our fan base has wallowed in the home defeats.  Some supporters are unhappy that the League table doesn't reflect the Chairman's wishes and hold Marcus entirely to blame for this.  Others have chosen to not attend matches until the Manager is replaced, which they presume will lead to us winning every game.

But what gives us such a sense of entitlement?  Why should we beat everyone?  Why should we be top of the league?  Because Ritchie wants promotion?  Because we are the mighty Kettering Town FC?  We are not a big club at this level.  In fact we are a good deal smaller than some.  A cursory glance at the crowds teams like Hereford and Darlington are getting shows how small-time we are at the moment.

In the grand scheme of things, we are small-fry, and the sooner we get our heads around that, the better we'll enjoy what success comes our way.  We play on the worst pitch in the league, with a step of concrete around it and a handful of crappy little stands.  We are attracting a couple of hundred less people than we were 2 years ago.  Yet, we're still going and still challenging.

Do we support the Poppies, or do we support table-topping-Poppies?  Are we real or plastic?

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Burton Calling!

As most of you may know, my better half doubles up as the Poppies Trust Chairman (never say Chairperson...!)  The role isn't all glamour and glitz.  Or at all glamour and glitz come to think of it.  Unless there is something glamorous in a none-to-obvious-way about chairing committees, attending interminable Council meetings, selling 300 Club tickets, handing out flyers, and basically trying to be all things to all members.

Even the occasional media commitment usually lack any sort of wow-factor.

A case in point came last week when she was approached by Radio Northampton to help out with their Saturday morning "Treasure Quest" programme, where station employees criss-cross the county, directed by listeners answering questions as to locations.  Karen was asked to be at Latimer Park for about 10.15AM to meet the Radio car, assuming the good people of the County could decipher various cryptic clues as to locations.  The trip to Latimer Park was to be the third of the forth locations.

The carpark at LP is a pretty grim place at 3.00PM, let alone when completely empty at 10 o'clock in the morning!

Consequently Karen had decided not to be there too early, so she listened to the show, knowing she could be on site with no more than 10 minutes notice.  This suddenly became relevant, when the clue for the second location was given as, "John, after Olivia".  Given the clues about locations are usually impenetrably bizarre, the simplicity of this question, and the answer of "Newton" had the radio car speeding to that tiny village just outside of Geddington.  What if the next clue was equally easy?  Bloody hell, they could be heading to Burton in mere minutes!

However, before sprinting to the car, she listened to the next clue, and relaxed a little.  Even though we knew the next location was Burton Latimer, we were buggered if we could work it out from this clue, "Botterill's ex and one of Edison's Pioneers added to a preposition".  Eh?  What?  We fully expected this most-cryptic of clues to flummox the good folk of Northants for a while.  Far easier questions than this often lead to 20-30 minutes of random phone calls, suggestions and head-scratching.

Not today though.  Thirty seconds after the question was asked some annoying mare was on the blower to the radio station with the correct answer!  Unbelievable!  How the hell did she work out "Burton Latmer" from that?  I knew the answer and still had no idea?  A further 30 seconds later and Karen was gunning her engine and heading off.

The Radio car was soon in Burton, where the second part of their clue was, "A day for supporters to come out - find them here."  Not a particularly difficult one to work out, especially as the "Show Your Support Day" featured prominently on the news bulletin which was broadcast about 2 seconds earlier!

Thankfully Karen was there in time and met up with the Radio people for a quick chat about the match that day.  All's well that ends well.  Just another day as a Poppies Trust official!



"Broadsword calling Danny Boy,
Broadsword calling Danny Boy....." 





Thursday, 12 January 2017

Monday, 2 January 2017

Here's Hoping


Given that our last four visits to the grandly named, but poorly appointed Pro-Edge Westwood Road Stadium, in St Ives, have run thus: -

0-0
1-0
4-0
7-0

Is it really too much to expect us to rattle in 10 goals this afternoon?  It would certainly help take the chill off.


"Watch this space...?"