Outside the Box: Guernsey's players will have to channel their energies

 

Newport County, featured here last week, may be the highest-placed club in the non-League pyramid complaining about fixture congestion after a crop of postponements, but they are hardly alone.

In their quest to return to the Football League, Newport are on a run of 11 games in 29 days, which sounds quite relaxing compared to some.

Consider Guernsey in the Combined Counties League, who as of last weekend had 11 games in hand on fellow contenders Epsom & Ewell and face playing 23 times in 43 days before the end of the season. Finding the dates has proved a headache for the secretary, Mark Le Tissier, brother of club president Matt, and over the next two weekends they play three times on successive days.

Bridgwater Town in the Evo-Stik Southern Division have had 20 postponements through bad weather alone in what the club call "this crazy season", and have had to rely on sponsors bringing forward payments to help with cash flow.

Wales and Scotland have been particularly badly hit; Turriff United in the Highland League have 10 games in hand but for once our old friends Fort William, with their frequently waterlogged pitch, are not much worse off than anyone else – just worse, with one win and 22 defeats from 25 matches ensuring their habitual place at the foot of the table.

Not so Beasant memories

As we approach the 25th anniversary of Wimbledon's extraordinary FA Cup triumph over Liverpool in the 1988 final, John Aldridge has been voted Liverpool's best penalty-taker of all time on the club's website. He scored 17 of the 18 he took for them.

The one he didn't convert was, of course, saved by Dave Beasant that sunny day at Wembley, thus giving Wimbledon the greatest day in their history and helping deny Liverpool what would have been only the second League and Cup Double in theirs.

Not so rare bit of success

Talking of penalties at Wembley, passion paid off in the end for Wrexham, who won the FA Trophy final against Grimsby Town in a shoot-out after taking lessons in singing the Welsh national anthem; not easy as only their goalkeeper Chris Maxwell is actually Welsh.

"Mae Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau" ("Land of My Fathers") may yet be heard again at Wembley this season as both Wrexham and Newport are in the Blue Square Bet play-off places ahead of the final on 5 May; a date and venue set in stone, which is why the Conference have said they cannot extend the league season.

Signed shirts of the times

Times are hard and it appears that like Oldham Athletic, whose players were told before the recent FA Cup tie against Everton not to give away any of their kit, even Championship clubs are feeling the pinch. An Ipswich Town supporter who collects his team's shirts and gets them autographed says he was approached by a steward after one game and told to hand back two shirts given by players to him and his eight-year-old son.

Achieving the benchmark

Which players break into an automatic walk towards the touchline as soon as their team are about to make a substitution? The English National Football Archive and SoccerData.com have come up with the three current players who have been "hooked" most often.

In third place is the much-travelled Scott McGleish, with 219 weary walks off; second is Jon Macken (230), formerly at Manchester City and now with Stockport County; and the winner is Robbie Blake of Doncaster Rovers, with 237 in 507 games. All three are in their late 30s and all, significantly, are forwards.

s.tongue@independent.co.uk; twitter.com/@stevetongue

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent