One man & his blog

Musings from matches.

Thoughts on walking football generally.

Alan Richards writes…



 Three  and a half years ago I was asked to ‘co-ordinate’ walking football at the Nash. What followed was slow steady growth and a lot of fun. Those who have been involved for a while may remember how many extra curricular activities I have organised , and you have enjoyed along the way
There is much video and photography online from these years which I enjoy from time to time.
I think the collective efforts of all who play has raised the local profile of the club, and  some valuable revenue too. Lets not forget raising well over a thousand pounds in double quick time for a perimeter board sign.
Over the time a lot of new faces have joined us , and some of those have stayed. I must have played in at least  a couple of hundred highly enjoyable games.
As I have to limit my playing time now due to medical issues (hips) I won’t be taking to the pitch at Curzon in the forseeable future, if ever again. The games  amount to open age (though over 50 of course) and are now  too much like regular  football, quite  competitive for me going forward from the age of 69 next May. I obviously therefore need  to say  that I can’t  be  involved in organising , or helping to organise the game at the Nash any more. I will still attend on Monday’s sometimes to Referee  those who want to play ‘walking’ football or I might just ‘spectate’ or photograph occasionally. I’ll also keep the F.P.L. going to  a conclusion  at the venue at least until April with the agreement and co-operation of Mark Bradshaw, and the club. & review matters in the Summer. like last year.

 I have never seen any conflict with my role at Denton W.F.G. but it’s that which I will now focus my attention on with our committee. Playing occasionally on Tuesdays with the Over 67’s and developing the expanded Thursday sessions for Over 65’s beginners and newcomers in 2020.
In keeping with what I believe the spirit of walking football is supposed to be.




Recently there’s been some discussion of penalty kicks and the one step technique we use in most regulated forms of walking football. Some have wanted to see the rules amended to see an extended approach towards the ball.  On the grounds that too many kicks are breaching the one step rule. Madness? No, certainly not – , but  wrong.
I’ve only ever take one penalty kick that could have been regarded as crucial.  It was in a shoot out in Wigan ‘Soccerdome’ three years ago. A ‘plate’ final.  I believe the venue has ‘gone’ now, though not in a literal sense,  or at least is under some threat.
Luckily for me I’m still here, and lucky too that the goals we were using that day were the low, and quite wide variety.  If there’s one thing I’m quite  good at in this game it’s directing a pass and after  a single short step  I side footed the ball firmly into the extreme left hand corner to register a goal. The opponents failed to convert their next one and we clinched third place.  Yes, that’s right THIRD place. But it was our first trophy of any kind and the team were pleased, so was I.  Typically, the camcorder battery had given up the ghost  by then, and my little bit of walking football triumph was lost forever, and lives on only in my memory.  For now anyway.
However , some of the kicks survive and can be found at the link at the foot of the article. Looking back now,  most of the techniques were illegal.  Three years is a long time in this game and today the Referee would hopefully be on the ball and have a stricter, more informed take on the rules of the game.  The Referee of the game in question was somewhat inexperienced, I fear.
Technique aside for a moment, some of our players had hit the ball hard, sometimes going over the low bar, or into the arms of a grateful goalkeeper, or in going for power had placed them  wide.
There is  now some disquiet amongst the walking football community that the rule should be changed.
I disagree.

apologies for the laces ( I still miss my Mum )

One step is what it says on the tin.  I think most of us can count up to one.  You don’t even need to take a step. Just stand motionless near the ball and swing a leg. Either a ‘proper’ instep shot where your laces come into contact with the ball, or a more basic toe ‘bung’ !  Not for the purists but some can generate more power in this way. Aim for the top half of the ball and there’s a good chance it  will stay low.  With the goal post dimensions we use most of the time it’s not at all easy to score. Pot luck in fact, especially with an agile goalkeeper, of which there are remarkably many.
To increase the step count would almost certainly tilt the scales too far in favour of the kicker, in my opinion. You may say rightly so.  I would disagree.  This is a one on one contest after all, no matter what has happened in the preceeding seconds.  As there are few ‘in play’ penalty kicks in the game anyway (even fewer under some rules) and we see many more in penalty shoot outs to decide competitive progress, or success.
Inviting a player to approach the ball over two or three steps (or even more)  would be a bad move. Few might ‘walk’ to the ball.  It is much easier to count to two or spot a mini/micro step than tell if a player is running over a handful of strides.   Some  could use  the  opportunity to hesistate , pause or move in an exaggerated manner  in an effort to break the  goalkeepers concentration. We don’t need any of that. Nor do we need more power generated from  what is after all a relatively short distance.  Good players, good penalty takers are often those who can generate ample power on  a ball from just one step. I can’t. I would not be the first player to turn to if you want a penalty kick successfully taken.  Use the players who have power in their legs. Of course, in  an extended shoot out more of us are forced  to take more than  a mere  single  step out of our comfort zone.  This is where practice is key.
We have uploaded two or three videos over the last couple of years to demonstrate the one step kick, and the ways players can transgress.  Our group came up with  the term ‘micro-step’. At least  I’d never heard it before and was using those words well before I saw, or heard  anyone else doing it.  It sums up quite adequately a weight shifting shuffle of the feet, or a nervous alteration in the takers  pre-kick stance.
Now, we don’t use it quite so much.  Because it is happening less frequently, although of course  we do still see one from time to time.  There are two or three  expert penalty takers within our group.  These people have practiced the art, and given serious thought to its execution.
That’s the key I mentioned.  Just grab  a ball for ten minutes or so and take a couple of dozen one step pens. Either into an empty net or rope in  a goalkeeper with time, and gloves on his hands.
I did this alone  last week with  a couple of balls,  as a game went on a few yards away.    Into an empty goal. I tried toe pokes, toe bungs, side foots etc. Not all with one step, some with no step.
About a third hit the target where they were intended so to do.   Low into the bottom corner. Another third netted more centrally and several hit the posts, or went just wide. I estimated fewer than half of those on target would have a chance of beating a good goalkeeper.
I even tried the now famous ‘flamingo’ technique and did manage to generate a little more power by hovering with the non-kicking foot suspended in the air . Worries I might topple over proved groundless !
I think if I’d spent another half hour practicing I’d have done better.  Practice is the key here. Both in terms of technique and conversion.
Our rules  – as worked out in late 2017 –  with  Manchester County F.A. do not allow retakes. So if you score from the spot but shuffle your feet, take a micro step or break the rule more blatantly and you put the ball in the goal it will not count.  That’s frustrating but if the letter of the law is applied that’s the outcome.
From  a Referee’s standpoint consistency is key.
Some rules advocate the re-take. Not here. Not under Manchester County F.A. rules.
In his recent opinion piece Steve Rich says he asked a kicker to take the kick for the FIFTH TIME !  How fair is this to any Goalkeeper?  For there are three people involved in this process.  If you don’t get it right first time then that’s your opportunity gone.  A rule which should concentrate the mind, and the feet. *edit*  Of course Mr. Rich , as a Referee was merely applying the rules of the competition, indeed  from  a   personal standpoint he does not agree with penalty  retakes for reason of illegal technique,   I have now been informed. *edit*
The majority in our neck of the woods now comply with the one step law. It will become second nature with more practice.  Laws and rules can be changed, of course but let’s weigh up the pro’s and cons of doing so.  In this case my own view is that a single step maximum is plenty from just over SIX metres. There’s no need for any more in walking football.
If you still don’t get the rule think thus. Standing still before the ball, whilst waiting  for the whistle.  Once it has sounded the foot you are going to kick it with can touch NOTHING but the ball itself. Simples.
Link below for the Nash Amblers 2016 penalty shoot out in Wigan. All feedback welcomed – panel below.

Feedback for ‘ONE STEP BEYOND’

Comment or Message
“The part that’s ringed suggests to me where he is going wrong on this.”
I found this sentence to be misleading, and it appears that you have me directly responsible for one-step pen re-takes. This is untrue. As a referee I uphold the competition rules – as these were set by the organisers and the FA in this country. I do not agree with re-takes but it is implied that I am responsible. Not the case. So please re-construct the incorrectness appropriately
From : Steve Rich
Note: Article amended accordingly as can be seen above.
From Brian Coll…
Good Morning Alan.
I have thought for some time that the one step penalty needs looking at through fresh eyes.
The current rule is heavily biased towards goalkeepers, who, have no artificial restrictions put on them, and, let`s face it some of the ‘keepers are big lads in tiny goals which would make it hard enough to get past them under any circumstance.
My other issue is that the kicker is unfairly disadvantaged by being forced to take the kick with a motion which is entirely unnatural within the mechanical context of kicking a football. The kicker inevitably is unbalanced by an uneven weight distribution at the point of contact.
It is also worth pointing out that given these two scenarios, we must not lose sight of why a penalty was awarded in the first place, so there should be no artificial advantage created to the benefit of the offending team which seems to be the way it is with the current rule.
It is no benefit however, having a moan, if you have no suggestion for how to improve the situation, my suggestion is simple and easy for players, referees and spectators to understand.
Quite simply, I would suggest adopting a one yard penalty. ie the referee would indicate to the kicker a point one yard behind the ball, and the kicker can take as many steps, micro or otherwise, within that yard, before he strikes the ball. The kickerbenefits from being able to be fully balanced at the point of impact, the referee benefits by not having to make a call on controversial micro steps, and the spectators benefit from not being baffled by why a perfectly good goal was disallowed.
The contest then becomes a fairer and more equal contest between penalty taker and goalkeeper.
It would be interesting to see what people think.
All the best
Brian Coll



7th.October 2019…
BLUES 3  (Fielding, Brodie, Cuthbert)  YELLOWS 1  (Cooper)
With twenty two players arriving at the Nash it was decided to play two games simultaneously on adjacent pictures.
I Refereed the 6 v. 6 between Yellow and Blue bibs, with Mike Kieran ‘keeping goal for the Yellows and Mark Bradshaw for Blue.
The Blues took the lead when Colin Fielding , moving well this morning cottoned on to a splendid ball from David Partington and finished smartly.
Alan Brodie doubled the lead soon afterwards and Blues were looking in control. However they soon racked up three runs with a penalty lifeline to reduce the arrears and get back in the game. Joe Bemrose stepped up to the plate but his kick was comfortably saved by Bradshaw.
Despite this setback Yellows continued to press and Hadge Cooper pulled a goal back with a tremendous strike from fifteen yards.
After the break both teams had their moments. Fielding put the ball in the net once again but was adjudged to be running. Blues were the faster team throughout and a second penalty was on the cards. Once again , when it came Bemrose was the man designated to take it and once again Bradshaw was equal to the Royton man.
Colin Cuthbert confident and capable all morning, added a third for Blues to put the game beyond doubt.
Well done Yellows , with just two runs in the whole game.
… Something of a goal-fest on the other pitch but more on that from Garry Pearce later…..


9th.September 2019..

A dreary day to start the week but not for the hardy bunch who once showed up to test their mettle on the 3g.
Eight v Seven as the drizzle came down.
Blues versus Orange played out a lively game under the assertive gaze of Referee Garry Pearce.
Blues had the edge with better movement and some crisper passing – they also had the extra man in the first half.
Alan Brodie put Blues ahead but MikeKieran got a foot to his shot. Unfortunately the ball sprung up into the net.
Kieran was instrumental in keeping the Orange in the game with save after save of distinction. At the other end Mark Bradshaw was having an easier time of it.
At half time Hadge Cooper changed teams but Blues stayed dominant with David Partington seemingly ever youthful and mobile pulling the strings.
For Orange Martyn Heath was prominent but the effort of all was a credit to this group.
More misfortune for Mike Kieran as he dived to palm a ball outside of his ‘D’ only for Peter Jarvis to pounce and double the Blues lead. Yet again though the agile ‘keeper kept the score down to respectable levels.
Orange had their moments going forward with Heath and Fielding busy busy. All the players deserve mention but that would require more invention than I can find this day, so a photo will suffice. There was a better one without the raindrops but a reverse Churchillian gesture wasn’t really appropriate to this page, even it was a correct forecast of the score.
Thanks to Garry Pearce for his Refereeing , well over thirty minutes had elapsed before the first run was penalised this morning. Also grateful to Mark Bradshaw for facilitating and for washing the sodden bibs.
(that’s an adjective not a cuss word)


2nd. September 2019 – my Daughter is forty eight years old today and that makes me realise I’m no ‘spring chicken’ and lucky to have a relationship with anything spherical such as a size 5 football at the age of 68 myself. On to today’s gathering of some similarly aged souls and a few considerably younger

A big eleven v. eleven at the Nash this morning.  Demanding for the Referee as much as anyone on a large pitch but this format, even with the three touch game we employed is testing the ethos, and credibility  of walking football to the limit, in my humble opinion.
Blues were dominant for the most part. Bradshaw in their goal was seldom troubled.
The fulcrum of Orange play was Terry Bertenshaw  but in truth their attacking effort was weak.
Conversely Blues, with Woz Taylor rampant and Mike Conroy in support were two of the chief thorns in the side of Orange.  Taylor inflicted most of the damage with four goals , including one penalty.  I think it was Conroy who added the other one. Mike Kieran in the Orange goal had a busy morning in the larger nine-a-side goals, only at half time was the size of the ‘D’s increased
Two new players Dominic and Guy joined us for the second, and first time respectively. We hope they return because ideally the numbers need to be around  twenty four so we can have two viable walking football matches. If only numbers were relatively constant we could come up with better than this.
Too many players to mention contributed something to the game on both sides. At the very least it was a good workout for almost everyone.

Thanks to Garry Pearce for Refereeing this morning.  A job well done (with very little in the way of complaint that I heard anyway) We need more Ref’s if numbers do increase, and could do with  at least a couple more volunteers to have a go with the whistle. Qualified/accredited or not.



Three touch Monday at the Nash: Mostly  action photos .  Please use it or lose it because this ‘Flickr’  hosting facility costs D.W.F.G.  £40 per year  & the more views the better  < shoot >

  • – – – – – – – – – – –

12th August 2019:  CUTHBERT  MAKES IT  A BLUE MONDAY….

With twenty five players turning out this morning we obvliously went for two games.
I Refereed a 6 v. 6 on the more distant pitch. Mike Caldwell was forced to limp out of the game after aggravating a thigh injury after just a few minutes. Get well soon Mike.
Andy Truett had put the Blues ahead with a powerful strike.
With the pace quickening markedly it wasn’t long before Yellows conceded a penalty but Colin Cuthbert placed the ball wide of the mark. Redemption would follow.

  • – –
    When the team turned around Pete Atkinson donned a Yellow bib – thanks for co-operating Peter – to redress the numerical imbalance. Forming a good defensive barrier with Mike Taylor, who continues to impress.
    Blues , with the busy Gordon Nixon outfield now and Andy Truett in goal were on the back foot for a spell and Truett, impressive between the sticks was forced to parry and block a collection of on target shots from Keith Burrows and Hadge Cooper. New man Roy Bond in a blue bib was enjoying his Nash debut and looks to be an exemplary walker. Alan Brodie was another menacing figure in yellow, as the equaliser loooed inevitable.
new man – Roy Bond

So it proved when Blues racked up three runs and Keith Burrows despatched an excellent penalty to the back of the net.
The game was combative, and close with one or two personal duals beginning to develop on the pitch. Nothing escalated but it was clear both teams wanted to win this match. Colin Fielding urging his Blues forward and providing the bridge between defence and attack.
It fell to Blue’s Colin Cuthbert to score the winner and came in spite of their numerical disadvantage so well done to them.

  • todays blues and yellows



5th August 2019.  A high turnout at the Nash meant two games.  No musical puns because that was Yesterday….

…Today I Refereed the five a side on the more distant pitch . Pitch 3 in the F.P.L. but more of that later.
A good game in which Mark Bradshaw kept goal for each team across two halves.
Reds v. Yellow and some good walking football especially from the red team who had the edge in passing the ball. Yellows were powered by a mobile Pete Smith along with a dominant Darren Sullivan – who has been a great find for our group , glad YOU found US Darren.
Rob Lake again showed his prowess, and a slower than usual Steve Wingrove, adapting to his knee problem was exemplary in his movement today.

  • – – -I took my eye off the ball and went looking for one outside the perimeter fence but couldn’t find it. Returning to the pitch just in time to miss the opening goal.  Hadge Cooper is credited with it although Pete Smith may have got  (he assured me) an insignificant touch on the ball. A couple of contact offences mainly involving exuberant feet and upper body clashes but this was a friendly enough affair with no dissent from the players, as we have come to expect by now. Rightly so.
    David Fielding burst through in an attempt to double the Red’s lead seconds before the end. He steered the ball home too , but was penalised for running. To rub salt into his wounds on this, his day of days this was his teams third run and he conceded a penalty kick.

Pete Smith’s one step technique was faultless, as was Mark Bradshaw’s handling as he gathered the ball.
One nil it ended – to the Reds.  Well done , a good workout.


2/8/19 – No Trevor or Garry at the game today so I’m afraid it’s me. You Can’t Do That they said, but I’m doing it anyway….

Blues 0 Yellows o….

LAKE SUPERIOR at the NASH  2nd.August 2019

..a long and winding match report…

With Mike Kieran extolling the merits of  his favourite actor William Holden and citing Denton’s Pete Dixon as his doppelganger, plus Colin Fielding producing a BEATLES Karaoke kit from the boot of his car (too good for the Gran’kids Col. save it ’til we’ve all had a few sherbets)

the morning took on  a surreal gloss and another Good Day Sunshine beckoned those of us who had Come Together at Tameside Stadium.

Teams warmed up.  Eve Richards filming another  Day in the Life  of this walking football group.

You Never Gave Me Your Money claimed Mark, and he was right. I thought I would have to Ref, not play, but he was persuaded to do it himself and a darn good job he made of it too, even if he refused the old Acme Thunderer, preferring to use his fingers – effective, it has to be said.


You could look all Across the Universe without finding a better walking football defender than Rob Lake. A colossus in yellow today. Ably assisted by lieutenant Colin Fielding at his side, his yellow Swedish international shirt had me thinking of Scandinavia’s own ‘fab four’, ABBA.  I said they’d be big and they were massive !

So, which team would meet their Waterloo today? Who stood out For You Blue ?

Something in the Dave Fielding moved suggested the Player of the Year award had put a spring in his step but it was Colin Cuthbert who looked liveliest of the lot.  Run For Your Life was not the order of the day.  Referee Bradshaw pulled a third Yellow run in the second half and it looked like Blues may take the lead.

I, Me,Mine as Mike Caldwell lined up the ball on the spot. A perfect one step technique placing the ball low .  From Me to You sprang to mind as ‘Kat Kieran’ sprung to his right. Gathering low down. Reprieve.  Mellowing Yellows didn’t sin again.

The elusive Heath, in blue was very effective. Try to man mark Martyn and you’re in for a Long, Long, Long morning. Prompted by the younger legs of a proficient playmaker David Lees , and supported by Peter Jarvis – newly qualified for Strider’s senior squad the Yellow defence HAD to  be good. It was more than that, and was Getting Better all the Time.
Could Yellow’s have had a penalty when Jarvis appeared to encroach his ‘D’ ? It didn’t matter. Let it Be said we. Nobody protested. I thought they might but ‘I Should Have Known Better’
The game proved a stalemate and no one was left thinking ‘I’m a Loser’ . Pure enjoyment with not a bard word spoken and a testimony to our game.
Maybe I’m Amazed, but I shouldn’t be. We could play for Eight Days a Week, and sometimes it feels like it but as I sit here with a smile on my face once again after a terrific morning of our version and realising there’s just no way I can work  Obla-Dee-Obla-Dah into this write up !

The End is nigh. I’m so Tired and Golden Slumbers may overtake me soon. But I’ll be back later to upload the game onto youtube – I’ve Got A Feeling you’ll enjoy it.
Incidentally for the rest of August, Monday games will be three touch when one big game is played. 7v7, 8v8, 9v9 or similar. Mark Bradshaw is fully in favour . Higher numbers will of course mean two smaller games of multi. The YouTube links will follow – soon.

“One of the best games we’ve had. Neither defence deserved to be pierced, neither ‘keeper deserved to be beaten – and they weren’t”

Terry Bertenshaw on the ‘phone

Feedback form – let it flow…
June 24th back at the Nash….

Purely from a personal perspective…I enjoyed playing in today’s game at the Nash.  Not playing as often as I’d like.  Big teams in terms of numbers , I thought ten v. ten but Trevor reported nine versus nine, and I won’t disagree with the esteemed ‘bard of the bulletins‘.
I always enjoy reading Trevor’s reports. This is something we have done for three years now. Might just be a couple of paragraphs but with three or four contributors we get a range of opinion, a range of observations. Who can deny they don’t look for their name in these  reports?

  • – – –
    Such numbers as we had on the pitch today , mean you can more or less assume a position and stick with it, within reason. In smaller sided games the onus to get up and down a still sizeable pitch can be very demanding. You don’t want to leave defenders and ‘keepers exposed but the committed player will feel there HAS to be an attacking threat if your team is not blessed (or saddled with) with a goal hanger, and even THEY need some support.
    With a nine v. nine on a wide pitch there can even be time to stand and admire the skill of team mates, or opponents. There was some good passing today – remember we have no divine right to be playing this game at our ages – of course some balls went astray but the good nature of everyone taking part meant no cross words (or, none that I heard) and criticism was absolutely minimal – close to zero in fact.
    I think new player John Horton enjoyed it and will be buying some Astro trainers for subsequent visits I’m sure. He was made very welcome and encouraged all the way – we’re that kind of group.
John Horton

Bill Murney asked if ‘I minded him attending’ and I of course answered in the negative.
I made a point of asking Mark too, with Bill close at hand after the game. These are not my decisions to make, after all.  The only time I could anticipate a problem was if Bill’s competitive teams were in our divisions in any competition our players considered important. That’s for the future. I’m not sure if we have any players considered good enough to pull on a Manchester ‘Corinthians’ shirt but Bill assures me he has never ‘poached’ a player from anywhere. So if anyone fancies a game in red and white stripes you’ll have to approach Bill himself, who has settled in well to our games, and today began in defence but moved forward to threaten on the left hand side.

  • – – –
    Today we had the perfect opportunity to rehearse some free kick routines. Mike Conroy – walking football thinker- was not there but nevertheless he has introduced some good ideas. Not least the ‘flamingo’ penalty technique which Trevor Brereton adopted today, leaving Blue ‘keeper Mark Bradshaw with no chance. If I tried one of those I’d probably fall over !
    Personally think Mark might like a game outfield sometime and as he is on the cusp of fifty he’d be perfectly entitled to a few. His distribution with long balls from the ‘D’ is a pleasure to watch sometimes and reflects his pedigree as one who has made a living from football in a cut throat, deeply competitive environment. Talent – pure and simple. Catch up with his interviews on the latest ‘podcast ‘ from Curzon. There will be a link on the news page soon. Did you now he has played for England?
  • – – – –
    Mark actually complimented me on my style of play today. Movement was mentioned and he enjoys ‘watching me play’ ! Praise indeed and I’m wondering if I should just retire right now taking those encouraging words with me 🙂 .
    I have an appoinment with an orthapedic specialist of July 22nd as a follow up to ‘inconclusive’ x-ray results. Until then I’m going to probably leave it a few days between playing games. If there’s no reaction I might try again on Friday. Biggest disappointment for me in playing a derivative of football at the grand age of 68 is the powder-puff shot! Very frustrating. The most ‘menacing’ and dangerous players can hit a ball hard. Often keeping it low and sometimes on target. Several did that today.


Messrs Wingrove and Bemrose testing David Partington who made saves to his low left and right look easy. Remarkably easy. And he doesn’t even groan when hauling himself back to his feet !
So, a splendid morning of walking football thanks mostly to Garry Pearce. Someone said I looked ‘ red (faced) ‘ as we walked off. It was warm for sure, and borderline oppressive.
My teenage football wing idol Mike Summerbee (pictured right) once described me as a ‘red’ for similar reasons just before handing me a medal in 1967* – cut me to the quick at a tender age he did – but I forgave him.
(*runners-up medal – I’ve never won nowt except the heart of a good woman and £25 on the lottery)

Right – time to water our Petunias and walk the dog. He had a short back and sides today and looks a bit down in the dumps.




  • – – – -June 3rd. at the Nash

DEADLOCK at the Nash… Orange 0 – Black 0

What started as a 9 v.9 was soon reduced to 9 v 8 when an unfortunate Alan Brodie had to leave the field after just a few minutes.
A three touch format in the first half thanks to narrow vote in favour. One or two dissenting opinions and in the second half we reverted to multi-touch in  a bid to keep everyone happy.

  • – – – –
    On a big pitch chances were not easy to come by and both teams struggled to threaten.
    Only one early run, and then no more were penalised. Two or three contact offences but nothing too much to mention in that regard.
    Bill Murney – guest player went closest in the second half, hitting the base of a post. Joe Bemrose changed teams at half time from Orange to Black to give them the extra man which made a difference. Blacks longer range passing was good and often more accurate than Orange. Blacks players were noticeably getting their heads up and looking to play the longer ball. Darren Sullivan was commanding in their defence.
  • – – – – –
    When the Orange team pressed David Fielding was often a lone figure up front but midfielders Wingrove and Hampson were mobile enough to back him up, quickly.
    No breakthrough came from either team though and it finished goalless with clean sheets for two as ever willing goalkeepers. Some times we might look for more volunteers to spread the load in this regard. Disappointing to see a pair  of our  ‘Amblers’ marked gloves seems to have gone walkabout. These gloves are not cheap.
  • – – – – –
    Thanks to Mark Bradshaw today for new balls, provided by the F.A. Nike branded and great for the purpose. Just a shame nobody could get one into the back of either net today !
    Today’s game was Refereed by Alan Richards. Thanks to Mark for the brews afterwards and confirming one or two details about our friendly game on Wednesday 12th. to our mutual satisfaction.
  • Feedback..



SPRING BANK HOLIDAY Monday 27th. MAY 2019…Richards report…

BLUES 1 (Smith J.)  ORANGE 0

Sixteen Amblers and a guest made a Bank Holiday bee line to the Nash this morning where Mark Bradshaw joined us for a nine v. nine game of three touch on a very wide pitch. So wide in fact it was almost square ! The sun shone but a pleasant breeze was blowing across Ashton Moss.
Cultivating chances proved problematic for both Orange and Blue teams.
Few shots on target to test either goalkeeper, especially in the first half.

  • – – –
    Approach play was perhaps lacking in guile for a while but the movement taking place showed all were committed to finding space.  The teams soon settled and creativity increased a little. Referee Garry Pearce penalised four touches on just a couple of occasions  in the first half and running was confined to one burst of pace for each team.
  • – – – –
    No goals as the teams turned around. The width was exploited a little more in the second half with Steve Wingrove out on the right wing for Orange. It was he who came closest for his team, firing one of several shots,  for the most part goalward, the most accurate of which struck a post with Bradshaw looking beaten.
    For Blues Gordon Nixon adventured forward a little more and it was his pass which found John Smith in a little space and the Amblers  player-manager scored the winning goal with a fine shot, leaving David Partington with no chance, although he did get fingertips to the ball a millisecond before the net bulged !
  • – – – –
    Bill Murney, GMWFL organiser joined us this morning in an Orange bib,  and looked comfortable, appearing to enjoy the game. Alan Richards played for the first time in six weeks without any apparent ill effects. ‘Time will tell’ is the message from the Denton man. The two enjoyed a brief post match chat around three touch walking football “We play two touch” was Bill’s summation…”and it works” Given that his Manchester Corinthian team appear to be doing very well across a number of competitions,  he may well have a point..
    As we know, not everyone enjoys three touch, but as several very experienced players commented after the final whistle, the game this morning would not have suited a multi touch format.
  • – – – –
    Referee Mr. Pearce again set the benchmark for marshalling matters. Both teams ended on just two runs, so no self-inflicted penalty kicks. Little contact beyond the odd inappropriate tackle from behind. With Alan Brodie busy on the left for Blues with Smith and the energetic Hampson providing support up front the Orange found it difficult to carve out an equalising opportunity beyond that Wingrove effort, and Bradshaw was seldom troubled.
    Given that the Blue team converted their best chance, and the Orange didn’t , a narrow win was probably a fair result.
  • Amblers turnout Bank Holiday Monday…27.5.19


Reporting from Curzon B.H. Monday 6th. May 2019….

Blue 0 Orange 2 (Lees, Bemrose)

Darren Sullivan takes on Steve Hampson

A modest Bank Holiday Monday turnout but a worthwhile one for all that.
5 v. 5 between Orange and Blue. Orange came out on top with goals from David Lees and Joe Bemrose.
An injury to Mike Conroy (rolled his right ankle) placed a  cloud on proceedings but we hope Mike is fit for the Over 65’s at Heywood on Thursday next.
Darren Sullivan is growing in stature in these sessions and David Mack is now fully settled in to the Amblers sessions.
Proven mainstays such as Hampson and Lees out in their usual quality shift in Orange bib whilst Martyn Heath and David Fielding were busy assisting the blue effort.
Goalkeepers Partington and Bradshaw answered most of the questions posed by their attacking opponents, with Partington in particular getting down low to save various efforts.

David Mack (left) – an avid Burnley Season Ticket holder.

He will be pleased with another clean sheet.
Some pics later but with the camera somehow set in the wrong ‘manual focus’ mode, some of ’em aren’t good enough, and there are not  not as many as I’d have expected. (doh, hate it when that happens – Ed) .

For Pics look <here>

Well done all for turning out and nurse that ankle Mike Conroy. No Referee to thank today by a common sense consensus.  A game, between friends and acquaintances played responsibly. Thanks to Mark for facilitating this session on  a busy day at the Stadium (EJMFL kids finals).

To conclude: NO Blue Monday at the Nash this morning but Orange is not the only fruit. Blue thoughts turn to a ripe plum of a match on the Etihad stage tonight,  where a peach of a game awaits.

half time photo-call


April 29th:


A calm and bright Spring morning for the end of April at the Nash this morning.
Players assembled at a leisurely pace and a warm up was taken by David Partington. Gordon Nixon took charge of configurating the pitch, yours truly volunteered to Referee this nine v. nine encounter.
Blue and Yellow bibs were dispensed, and so was any notion of a three touch format.
“You should be playing that game anyway” came the trusted voice of authority – Mark Bradshaw.
What followed was a lively game with some fluency, and much frenetic activity around the edges of each ‘D’. The very wide playing area was not really exploited to the full. Unsurprising , given this is a walking game. A fact ignored a couple of times by Blues, who ‘walked’ a tightrope for close on half an hour after conceding two free kicks for bursts of a running nature – definitely NOT walking.
It was goalless at half time as players took refreshment.

  • – – – – –
    Into the second half now and the pace remained steady. Partington in Yellow was penalised for a run, and there were a few contact offences but nothing which caused anyone too much concern.
    It was an even game. Blues underpinned by a mobile Steve Foster and the wily Colin Fielding.
    John Smith, looking swarthy in the sunshine was ably assisted in Yellow by the usual industry of Steve Hampson, and David Fielding amongst others. All of the payers pulled their weight today in their own way. Mixed ability walking football is harder to arrange when we can’t muster two simultaneous games to aid the balancing process in terms of age, mobility and to a lesser extent, skills.
  • – –
    The match was settled by a penalty after Andy Truett’s ingress into his ‘D’ after something of a good natured melee on the edge. Up stepped John Smith to despatch the kick past Bradshaw with a minimum of fuss. Mark’s handling and reflexes had been superb all morning but he couldn’t get to this one.
    Gordon Nixon at the other end will be pleased with his ‘clean sheet’ ahead of another testing time at Heywood.
    Blue rallied in response to going behind, and went close on a couple of occasions. They deserved something but got nothing. Such is life, such is walking football, sometimes.
  • – – – – – –
    Thanks  to Barry Thickett for ball retrieval duties…also Mark Bradshaw and a few of the players for complimenting my Refereeing today. With our regular officials missing for different reasons of course. This will happen more and more in the coming weeks. I’d recommend a few players who have never Refereed a game try it for themselves. It is far from an easy job. Giving ones time freely to do it week in , week out is not for everyone. Myself included. I would much rather have filmed the game, as playing (sadly for me) is not on my agenda at the moment.  These games NEED a Referee.
    Final score : Yellows 1 (J.Smith pen)
    Blues 0

Feedback welcomed – mark private if not for public consumption – ta.