Archive for category Match Reports


With a loss and a draw under their belt Albion came out on the pitch on Sunday morning hungry for a win, and like a post-match Bodean’s that hunger was satisfied.

Carlile : “Sean, you sure this is what Stew meant by “making a wall”.

Albion were quick off the mark and within the first 5 minutes won a free kick on the right wing. South stepped up and delivered a ball that was reminiscent of Ronaldinho’s looper against Seaman in the 2002 World Cup, except whereas Seaman saw the ball float over his head the Bath Old Boys keeper seemed to just let it run through him as if he never even existed, which he might as well not have done. 1-0 to Albion.

Minutes later history repeated itself, this time Carlile looped in the dead ball. Woody flicked it back towards none other than Albion centre back Stewart Lauder who poked it home. The last time Stewart Lauder scored Jagger was top of the charts, Uber was just a silly German word and WAP was the height of technology. Lauder himself will be quick to tell you he went on to score in 2 consecutive weeks after that, so watch this space I suppose.

Albion controlled the play in the centre of the park for the remainder of the half with the wing backs and midfield linking well but failed to convert chances up top so the half ended Albion 2 Bath Old Boys 0.

Second half saw Albion pick up where they left with a nice move as Joliffe, absolutely relishing his new role as right back, found Woody in the middle of the park who fed a through ball to Carlile who kept his cool and slotted past the keeper.

Minutes later Carlile could’ve doubled his tally when a beautifully weighted and precision through ball came from defence (rumours have it the ball came from Lauder but these have been unfounded) he rounded the keeper but was cleared off the line by Uncle Fester who was disguising himself as the opposition centre back.

The fourth and final nail in the Bath Old Boy’s coffin was hammered home by Albion’s veteran goal scorer, Steve Leslie. A nice piece of link up play by Baxendale and Marc Ferrer led to the Spanish recruit finding Leslie at the back post, the crowd gasped in anticipation of the upcoming pile driver that was about to be delivered but no, the Clapham Casanova took a different approach and kept it low and clinical (much like his approach to the London dating scene) and found the back of the net, again much like he does on the London dating scene.

Man of the Match and Henri Leconte was an easy one this week as Sean Holden put in a fine display in centre midfield. Keeping the ball and moving it well, proving all those chai latte’s and “downward dogs” have been worth it. His yoga retreats may be silent but his football is anything but.

Devon’s answer to Ravi Shankar also picked up the Henri Leconte award for completing his first ever Albion, and perhaps career, 90 minutes without injury not even his spine, knee, elbow, back, ear or hair were damaged. Well done lad.

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To round out the September fixtures Albion took on the curiously named Wig Army in the Marcus Lipton Cup.  With two leagues and presumably thus at least 8 places separating them Albion were favourites, although were dealt an early blow through the absence of Player/Manager Stewart Lauder prior to the warm up. thebus

Rumours were abound as to the cause of Lauder’s Karanka-esque no-show but a representative from a leading ride-sharing website suggested that he ‘might have been drunk’.  Jade Barker and the Albion FC board have yet to comment whether Lauder would be subject to the strict playing staff code of conduct, in particular the section reading…

‘If anyone dropouts after 12 (midday, you cheeky f*ckers) on Saturday, without a viable reason, they will also be excluded from the next weeks squad.’

Which Lauder had embarrassingly emblazoned on a bus during pre-season.

Despite this sideshow Albion had a match to play and started relatively brightly, quickly nullifying Wig Army’s rather one dimensional long ball strategy.  After 20 minutes Albion got into their grove, passing the ball well and starting to create space down the flanks.  The pressure quickly paid off with a ball from the right breaking to Tim Groundwater who lashed into the left side of the goal from 12 yards out for his first ever Albion goal.

Buoyed by breaking the deadlock Albion turned on the style, with a beautiful flowing passing move down the left end up at the feet of Tom South, who promptly introduced the ball to the net.  Not done for the first half, target man Baxendale’s looping header beat the keeper but hit the underside of the bar, but fortunately South was on hand to put the rebound away.

Long time fans of Albion FC will know that like Bonnie Tyler, every now and then we fall apart.  We promptly did this for the last 10 minutes of the first half and were lucky to survive unscathed from multiple rounds of penalty box pinball.  However at half time it was 3-0.

A pattern was quickly established in the second half as Wig continued to launch long balls akin to a ~Russian~ Ukrainian separatist soldier in Sevastapol.  Albion, content to absorb this pressure and launch counter attacks, were constantly dangerous but were unable to convert, with Baxendale once again acting cupid for ball and crossbar before eventually slotting the fourth and final goal.

Albion will face tougher tests this season but, should he continue his tenure as Albion coach, Lauder will be impressed with a professional performance and will hope Albion can take this form to get their first points in the league next week.

MoM: This week was a close run thing, but taken by Matt McManus for his ‘1000’ headers.  Marcus Fletcher came second with 2 votes with spare votes also for Aleks and Nick.

H/L – GOES go to Lauder for his failure to read the email and turn up on time, but more than one vote also went to Aleks for matching his boots to the red kit.  About as conspicuous as Taribo West at  an EDL rally – fair point.

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 Those unfamiliar with the composition of the Putney squad are in for a shock.

Those unfamiliar with the composition of the Putney squad are in for a shock.

Albion dusted off their collective boots for the first game of the season against last year’s double winners Putney FC.  The morning sun illuminated a new look Albion side with no less than 6 debutantes in the squad, all spoiling for the chance to become the ‘new Will Slater’.

Even with manager Stewart Lauder serving a one match touchline ban the pre-match preparations went well with Walter Gwan-Nulla even arriving with a leisurely 30 minutes before kick off.  Walter makes history this season by becoming Albion’s first ever semi-pro player, using his fees to pay for petrol – presumably for complicated offshore tax purposes.
Albion started well and implemented their game plan, explained with less than the usual amount of expletives, well for the first 30 minutes.  However after a short break in play Albion switched off and a long ball to the right saw Putney win two successive headers, the latter of which somehow ended up in the Albion net.  Like Hermione Granger Albion has been good in spells but went into the break 1-0 down.
Putney drove home their advantage in the second half, making the most of an extra man in midfield and their superior fitness.  With Albion struggling to retain possession Putney sprung the offside trap to score two more goals, essentially sealing the tie.  However Albion were not finished.  Newbie Tom South rattled the crossbar with a direct free kick, proving his intent to take Jindy’s place as set piece taker and as frontrunner for the most ridiculous hair award.
Albion made three substitutions, giving debuts to Marcus Coatsworth, Tim Groundwater and Matt McManus and the injection of energy provided a needed boost.  Albion started to create chances with Woody Archer getting his head to everything even vaguely spherical, much to the irritation of the Putney bench.
The goal Albion scored was ultimately a consolation but at least ruined the day for Putney’s ‘sweeper keeper’.  Coatsworth released Charlie ‘leg breaker’ Baxendale on the left who saw his one-on-one well saved before the ball somehow broke to Neil Joliffe who theoretically could have missed but fortunately didn’t – concurrently surging to the top of the Albion golden boot chart for the 2016-17 season.
Albion fans will be disappointed that the blue and blacks missed the opportunity to take points off a weakened Putney side but will also see promise in a squad that features almost as many new faces as Steve Claridge’s Weymouth side in 2009.  Next week Albion face league runners up FC Morden.

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Albion progress in the Frank Blunstone Cup against Huracan with a great team performance, winning 5-3 on penalties after drawing 4-4 AET.

In a gritty cup win, the lead changed hands twice before Albion finally gained the upper hand with some well taken penalties and a great save by Luke.

Duncan, Harry x2 and Charlie got the goals in normal time.

Jindy, Bill, Harry, Charlie and Duncan all scored their penalties. Luke saved one penalty.

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It was a mild morning in Clapham as the Albions walked out on pitch 4 or 5 – know one really ever knows. Dunc led a textbook warm up, starting with necks, moving on on to shoulders, then arms and, of course, the Jon Roberts. Everyone was limber and ready, weren’t they? No, to answer truthfully what followed was a shit show.

Macheato, still bitter from last season’s defeat to Albion losing 1-0 in what proved to a decisive fixture for Albion’s survival, settled by a half-volleyed top corner goal by Carlile (the handsome one), were out for revenge.
Albion looked lively from kick off; the ball was laid cooly off to new recruit Josh who passed backwards with great aplomb to Jindy who like a seasoned pro swept the ball wide – classic stuff.
The enjoyment was brief, however. As – **albion right back** played a searching ball up top, real textbook stuff to the forwards, but was intercepted by a hurtling macheat-foot that inadvertently played the most flukey through ball since the history of PES to one of their goal-hanging scorerats to opening the scoring. Another flukey goal and they were 2-0 at half time.
Albion needed to wake up but guess what? We pressed snooze on our football alarms and with 10 mins gone in the second half found ourselves 4 down, with our pants suitably down by our ankles. No amount of ‘Latino up yours’ was gonna save us.
Sure we had some bright play afterward and credit must be given to Nicholas Milne who’s picked up two goals since returning from Columbia alive. But overall, Albion, we are better than that.
Special mention to their right back who shouted, “hey! you need to go get learn at throwing school!”, When a foul throw was given against us – sums it all up really.

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Full match report for last weeks match v Hope & Horns…

0’ – Ref blows whistle the game begins.

"Hey, McFly!" : This weeks scribe Chaz Baxendale

“Hey, McFly!” : This weeks scribe Chaz Baxendale

6’ – Goal!! 0 – 1 FC Misc
can’t remember this goal so let’s just forget about it. Who wants to remember the opposition’s goals anyway!?!

7’ – Injury. Rich Evans
Evans hobbles off with a groin injury. Nervous glances towards Simon Abbot who replaces him.

9’ Goa!!- Another goal? Fuck sake Albion. 0 – 2 Hopes & Horns
Dubious. Very bloody dubious. A fine save by Walter, ensures the ball DOES NOT cross the line, the ref gives it anyway because he’s a dick, (watch this space). This game looks over for the Albion. And Walter’s arm is limper than a wet lettuce leaf soaked in luke warm milk.

9’ – 24’ – Graft.
Some seriously hard graft from the chaps in red. Special mention to Luke P and Simon A for easing into the game like it ain’t no thang.

25’ – Red Card for Hopes & Horns and
Oh no sorry… it was a yellow, because the ref’s lost the plot. Carlile brought down on a clear goal scoring opportunity.

28’ – OG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1-2 Hopes & Horns
Sure, I would try and claim it to, but Harry you cannot be serious. If this counts as his goal, then I’m not playing. All the same, the mounting pressure from the Albion pays off when on of FC Misc’s defenders plays a lovely golf like chip into the top corner of their own net. Game on.

31’ – Albion are feeling GOOOOOOOOOOOOOD.

33’ – Midfield duo Jimmy Rothers and Willy Carlton are starting to assert themselves. Yes lads.
Will C takes one for the team in what can only be describe as GBDVH; Grevious Bodily Deadly Vicious Hurting. This deserves a SPECIAL MENTION.
37’ – Another OG!!!!! 2-2 Albion
Lovely link up play by the Carlile brothers, Will C playing a fine pass directly into path of H Carl.
The coolest cat on the pitch when it comes to finishing, Carlile dispatches. No questions asked
Two own goals and Albion are back in the game!

45’ – Half time. Get those fluids in boys. You nearly pissed it all away.

47’ – Yellow Card Albion FC
Stewart Lauder gets a yellow for winning the ball and not taking the man out at all. A good, well timed tackle, maybe – probably.

49’ – Severed heads, but no red.
Lauder has found a loophole in the system. His bloodlust can still be satisfied without receiving that deadly red card. Nick Milne suffers as a result of this loophole. Lauder commits the second act of Grevious Bodily Deadly Vicious Hurting on the unsuspecting Milne. Praise be to Jeebus that he is ok, he is beginning to play well.

53’ – Chicken-Wing play extra spicy.
Wingers Marcus and Nick turn up the heat. A rage boiling in Marcus not seen since the heady Will Slater days. Maybe they are going to the same music concerts? Either way, we love it.
58’ – Capitano Duncan head-butt
Captain rallies his troops by head-butting the opposition’s keeper. Putting his mind and body on the line for the team.

60’ – Defence.
A Hungary’esque performance by Stew and Alek’s in the second half.
Ain’t nobody getting through. Ruthless.

62’ – Stunning Pass
Incredible pass by Marcus. Receives the ball out on the left. Cuts in and plays a terrific 12 yard pass to the nearest man. Great stuff.

78’ – Foul
Things are getting Strictly Come Dancing up front. Carlile and FC Misc defender Paul Bunnion demonstrate their keen love of the ‘Tango Caminata’ a gorgeous, fast paced Argentinian tango. Scintillating.

Shit! Did you see that? He had a foot like a traction engine.
Great goal from the nifty Columbian. Nicolas Milnericos skips past probably 6 players. Then drills it home from 25 yards beating the dumfounded keeper at his near post. These South Americans really know how to spank a ball. The ref tries to disallow it, claiming he didn’t see it. That’s because the ball was travelling at warp factor 9 ref, you piece of toast.

90’ – The full capacity crowd cheers, the champagne is out.

A strong second half performance from the Albion saved themselves from a disappointing start to the season. The ref was actually a nice guy, I would never condone legitimate abuse towards a ref.
With a win under their belt the Albion can now look ahead to next week’s game, playing the mighty FC Macchiato. Unlike the tasty hot beverage found in any east London craft coffee shop, these guys are highly unpleasant and often found pulling the toenails off squirrels in the back streets of South Lambeth road. They need a ruddy good mashing I say. Up the Albion!!

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Blaney: Albion's promising new striker

Blaney: Albion’s promising new striker

In Interstellar, Matthew McConaughey gave up his family to travel to another galaxy in the hope of saving the Earth. Fortunately, that epic journey didn’t start with an 8am meet outside The Alex. Otherwise he probably would’ve thought, “Sod it. The world can wither and die for all I care. I fancy a lie-in.”

The Albion faithful were gathered at this ungodly hour for a Surrey Cup away game in Woking. No-one was sure if the Alb had ever had to travel so far for a match. Even Walter didn’t fancy cycling to this one. Incredibly, Woking was still within the known universe and satellite coordinates were available. So, GPS devices plotted, the Albion convoy boldly ventured where no squad had been before.

I was with the gaffer in the trim-mobile, always a worrying place to be on a long journey to an away trip. There’s always the strong possibility that you’re going to be subjected to his Led Zeppelin compilation, or a lengthy dissertation on the merits of George Michael’s solo career. Luckily, the great man was content with Radio 5.

That’s not to say that the journey was entirely without incident. A hill start at some traffic lights required Jade to burn the clutch as the engine screamed in protest. The car rapidly filled with an acrid, rubbery stench rather like the smell of an overheating Scalextric. Fortunately, whatever was on-fire quickly extinguished itself and we could complete our journey unsinged.

I was also treated to part of a classic Barker philosophy lecture. Frankly, it was still a bit early and Jade had lost me a few turns back so I didn’t really have a Scooby what he was talking about. However, his ruminative treatise ended with him describing a lady as the “Ferrero Roche of women……someone who just makes you want to get the Ambassador out.”

Does anyone know if we’re there yet?

Anyway, we arrived at Knaphill. Excellent facilities. Unfortunately, Stew bolted for the only toilet in the changing room and proceeded to destroy it, rendering it unusable by anyone else. The dirty bastard.

So, to the game. Albion’s somewhat depleted squad reverted to a traditional 4-4-2. Line-up: Walter in nets, back four of Mike, Luke, Stew and Slater. Midfield of Marcus, Jim O’d, Rich, and Stu. Up front Harry and Albion’s promising young striker Bill Blaney.

Jade: Like's his women, like his chocolate. Wrapped in gold and served in a small brown cupcake doily.

Jade: Likes his women, like his chocolate. Wrapped in gold and served in a small brown cupcake doily.

Handshakes, coin toss, and the match kicked off.

Albion started the match in fine style. We were knocking the ball around and playing some lovely stuff. Knaphill were an odd side. They seemed to have some alright players, but none of them seemed to do any work. This meant everyone had time on the ball. Hot prospect Blaney was linking up play like a vintage era Mark Hughes while Marcus, Harry and Stu were causing all sorts of trouble to the Knaphill defence.

Albion took the lead in somewhat bizarre fashion. The pitch was soft and wet, meaning the ball would sometimes whizz through or sometimes hold up. An over hit through ball should’ve have been the keeper’s all day long, but he misjudged it allowing Marcus to steal in and nick the ball from his grasp and roll it in to an empty net.

We should have had a quick second when Harry played a sweet one-two with Bill before despatching into the far corner. However, the bent-as-a-nine-Bob note lino flagged for offside. After a lengthy chat with the referee he managed to talk him out of the goal.

Worse was to follow when Knaphill – whose best player was a fat John Hartson look-alike – came a bit more into the game and equalised. A bucketful of gilt-edged chances for Albion followed, but we weren’t able to convert, contriving to miss when it would’ve been easier to score.

Half-time. 1-1.

There was a bit of a bollocking from Stew at letting this dreck off the hook. There was no way this game should be close and we only had ourselves to blame.
Irritatingly, the second half followed the same pattern as the first. Albion missing shed loads of golden opportunities. There were a few hairy moments at the back where it looked like we might regret our profligacy.

We almost bagged the winner in spectacular style when Marcus and Harry combined beautifully down the left. Harry threw in a perfect cross to the back stick where an onrushing Bill had timed his ‘arrive’ © Ron Atkinson perfectly only to lift the ball millimetres over the bar.

Fortunately, Albion were not to be denied. With only minutes remaining, Marcus was scythed down in the box for a pen, which Haz coolly despatched. 2-1 final score. And Albion march on.

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Rich Evans: Would play in braces if Jade would let him

Rich Evans: Would play in braces if Jade would let him

Sunday morning football used to be a pure sport. Sadly, it seems that the corporate modernisation of the professional game is slowly polluting the once untainted environs of the Albion changing room.

There was a time when the darkened sheds on Clapham Common were a place to swap details of hangovers, conquests, and how Tranmere had screwed up your accumulator again. Where the only tactical instruction you’d be given was the name of the team you were playing.

Today’s Albion’s changing rooms are a very different place. Full of base layers, monogrammed boots, protein shakes, tiger balm, personalised stretching routines and formations that sound like telephone numbers. People still fart, but what were once fetid gusts of stink now just smell faintly of hollandaise sauce.

Nothing, I thought, could make me more depressed about the state of the Albion changing room. I was wrong. On Sunday I witnessed a new low. Two players exchanging stock market tips like they were Gordon bloody Gekko. Shame on you Rich and Harry.

Anyway, to the match. Albion versus last year’s league champions Machico. Lining up in military issue 4-4-2 was Walt in goals, back four was the Wolf of Wall Street aka Rich, Aleks, Dave “you do know I’ve retired Jade” McPhee, the Ginger Prince, midfield of Marcus, Jim, Will C, Eddy, and up top Chaz and George Soros himself Harry Carlile. Luke and Mike on the bench.

Opening exchanges were of a high quality as both teams knocked the ball about. Machico were trying to open things up by switching the play across the back, while Albion were making dangerous raids down the right wing.

The opening goal came about 20 minutes in. Marcus chased down what looked like a lost cause near the halfway line. With the oppo player looking to shield the ball out Marcus raced over and hooked the ball down the line which put Harry away. With only the world’s shortest keeper to beat, Harry opted for the top left corner and Albion were one nil to the good.

Goal number two came after more good work down the right. Rich threw the ball in to Harry who played a one-two with Charlie. Seeing as the keeper hadn’t had much luck getting to the far corner last time, Haz tucked the ball into the same spot again with the same result.

Machico were far from out the game and Albion’s defence had to be repel some dangerous attacks. A third Albion goal looked like it might come in handy for later. It arrived courtesy of another assist from Marcus. Crossing from the right, Charlie headed on to Eddy at the back post who finished from 6 yards.

Half time.

Second half started and it seemed that Machico had decided to try and rough up the Albion. Some of the tackles were of the decidedly naughty variety. The change of style seemed to distract Albion for a bit. Machico’s goal came after what should have been an Albion free kick after Eddy was cleaned out. We were too busy complaining to the ref to deal with the counter attack and Machico got themselves a first foothold in the game.

Lesson learnt, Albion knuckled down to see out the rest of the game. Harry and Charlie chased down anything loose up front while Jim, Will C and later in the game Rich were shutting the game down in midfield. In goal, Walt became increasingly busy dealing with balls into the box. He also had to pull off a couple of good saves, one to his near post and a spectacular Matrix-style slow motion leap to his right to tip a shot destined for the top corner onto the bar.

Final whistle, 3-1 the Alb.

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Aleks: Named in the squad, but curiously not by Jade.

Aleks: Named in the squad, but curiously not by Jade.

Albion won a pulsating Marcus Lipton cup tie 4-3 against AFC Putney.

There was a punctual meet-up outside The Alex. Even Aleks was on-time much to the surprise of Jade who had forgotten that he’d selected him in the squad. This was an away match at the Richardson Evans playing fields. With their billiard table surfaces the pitches are possibly the best in the league. Apparently, Wimbledon used to train there back in their long-ball clogging days. No wonder the grass is in such good nick. The changing rooms even had functioning light switches. Albion have rarely known such luxury.

Anyway, to the game. After a few weeks of missionary position 4-4-2, Jade was back on the tantric sex vibe opting for a frisky 4-1-3-2. The line-up: Walt in nets, a back four of Rich, Aleks, Stew, Will, a midfield of Eddy, Jim, the other less good Will, and controversially Dave in the ‘Dave role’. Up top Charlie and Haz. Mike and Stu on the Judy Dench.

On the basis of the first 20 minutes it looked like it was going to be a torrid morning in South London. Putney’s forward line – an impossible to tackle siege tower, and a pace to burn speed merchant – were causing all sorts of mayhem. It wasn’t long before they cut open Albion’s defence and opened the scoring.

Albion slowly worked their way back into the game. Dogged work by the defence and midfield reduced the impact of the Putney attacks. Better use of the ball with Dave ‘Xavi-esta’ McPhee increasingly influential meant we started to make chances of our own.

Shortly before half-time our resolve was rewarded by an equaliser. A foul 25 yards out gave us a free kick. The curiously positioned defensive wall simply invited Harry to despatch the ball into the far corner of the goal. 1-1. Half time.

In the second half, Albion started quicker than Stewart making a bolt for a pre-match shit. While Putney were still dangerous, Albion were controlling much more of the game. Can’t remember the build-up to our second goal, but it ended with Jim shooting against the post and then finishing the rebound himself. Number three came after a great move down the right wing. Walt rolled the ball out to Rich, who worked the ball up the right hand side. We played it round in midfield for a bit and then a nice through put Harry away who lobbed the ball sweetly over the keeper. Number four was simplicity itself and the kind of goal that would’ve have had Dave Bassett purring with satisfaction. After collecting the ball, Walt arrowed a kick straight down the centre of the pitch. The centre back let the ball over his head only to find himself in a foot race with Charlie, who flicked the ball over the onrushing keeper. Simples.

While the score line made the game look comfortable, Putney continued to carve out openings and Walter was forced to make some great saves. The final 20 minutes became a bit tense as Putney made some of their chances count. But it was too little, too late.

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Barker: “Playing on a new pitch is like making love to a beautiful woman….”

Sunday’s game against Machico saw that rarest of all things in the Southern Sunday Football League: a new pitch.

Tucked away in the backstreets of Stockwell, lies Larkhall Park. Even the gaffer, a man who claims to have played on every rutted wasteland between Oval and Orpington at least once, had never graced it. We truly were in uncharted territory here.

To be honest though, if we never saw this pitch again, it would be too soon. The pitch was covered in more craters and bumps than the face of an acne riddled teen. A couple of guys from Machico wandered about the pitch before the game with a bucket of mud trying to fill them in as best they could, but it succeded only in making the pitch terrible rather than atrocious.

In the changing rooms, the great tape drought of 2013 was officially over as Don had a massive brand new roll of the good stuff (though with Albion levels of consumption it will probably only last until the end of the month). Joe and Matt arrived late – they’d been unable to get an earlier time at the tanning salon – wearing new his’n’hers boots (and very nice they were too ladies).

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