Tag Archives: Fixtures

Fixtures

Those of you who didn’t sleep through Friday will be aware the Fixtures/Results section of the O/S has been updated with all our lovely league fixtures for next term, capped by that Frankenstein fixture in the Carling Cup at Crawley – although no PSFs as yet (which is starting to frustrate even the more patient of Dons fans…). I’m starting to wonder whether we’ve even managed to arrange any more than those we are aware of… part of the problem could be the game previously announced on the Leyton Orient website has now disappeared, replaced by a short tour of Finland, and coupled with the Crawley game it does seem as though we are being messed around left, right and centre.

Now this blog has never featured a fixtures page, I’ve never really seen the point. They take way too much time and effort to update. Which is a good thing, as our return to the Football League once again pits us against the fixtures copyright, and the aggressively litigious DataCo. Much more significant websites and fanzines have come a cropper at the hands of their lawyers, yet still the militant side of me wonders how the copyright can be sidestepped.

Simply typing the fixtures out in a large block without punctuation is unlikely to work, for example ‘sixthaugustbristolrovershomethirteenthaugustdagenhamaway’ not only because, well, obviously it’s not avoiding the copyright, merely masking it, but also as its likely to give anyone attempting to use it a migraine within thirty seconds. Picking out the all important Christmas and New Year fixtures in the middle of that is nigh on impossible.

Then I thought, maybe you could simply list the fixtures as a series of anagrams, e.g 8th August – Striver or slob (home) 13th August Mega hand (away). Again, this probably wouldn’t be considered safe by experts in copyright law. I did enquire out of interest, just how much DataCo would charge me for reproducing the Dons fixtures here, and the quote came back as £266.00 (exc VAT). I don’t often use swear words in this blog, not because I’m anti-swearing but because using certain words frequently reduces their impact… but regarding that fee… no fucking way!

Instead if you want to refer to this season fixtures you can view them on the O/S here.

Bristol Rovers become the first club to visit Kingsmeadow for a Football League fixture, the first of three fixtures against clubs that spent last season in League One. The fact the game represents our first game back in the League would be enough to comfortably sell out regardless of our opponents, but our visitors travelling support, particularly on opening day, should comfortably fill the small visitors section at the north end of the JS (not that any of them will actually see much of the game…). Which with the moderate ground improvements should see a capacity, and therefore record crowd.

Our first away game gives us our first League London derby since our trip to Millwall in February 2002. Dagenham have thoughtfully built a 1200 seat stand for visiting fans, which we should sell out. In fact given the amount of season tickets we have sold, and the relative proximity of the fixture might mean its a case of getting in the queue early.

Completing the trio of relegated clubs, we visit one of the divisions largest the following Tuesday, when we make the long trip down to Devon to play Plymouth Argyle, and its fair to say you probably won’t be needing your season ticket vouchers for that one. Annoying considering my personal history with the city that we head down on a midweek, as predicted a couple of weeks back. Still I’ll make the journey all the same, although the sheer number of new grounds we visit gives me a headache.

I know for financial reasons I’ll only make one or two away games a month, so Dagenham and Plymouth (which will also cost me two days holiday) means I won’t be travelling to Macclesfield at the end of the month. It’s a little harder to second guess further than that due to participation in cup competitions, although our second trip to Devon for the Torquay game in October will probably be a no go. And wouldn’t the fixture generator give us Rotherham away the week before Christmas, just days before I travel up to South Yorkshire for Christmas with the family. Hey, maybe I could just stay up there and travel back on Boxing Day so as not to miss the Oxford game? I can’t see the folks going for it, so with Doncaster Rovers away my festive football fix will be a local non-league game or feet up in front of the telly, depending on how cold it is.

Other holiday fixtures of note (and I see there are no August Bank Holiday fixtures in the League this time around), Southend come to us for a rare New Years Eve fixture before we travel to Swindon on January 2nd. Easter will see Rotherham at Kingsmeadow on the Saturday before a trip to Southend on Easter Monday, and I can’t be the only one not looking at that and thinking of a nice spring day at the seaside? Although it isn’t actually a holiday (not yet anyway), for the first time in  a couple of years we aren’t travelling to Barrow on my birthday. In fact we aren’t playing anyone yet, as that weekend is scheduled for the FA Cup First Round (how nice not to have to qualify…).

To close the season, Shrewsbury are coming down on the first weekend of May. I’m not sure how but we seem to have been given a larger than normal amount of home fixtures on key dates (first and last day, two over Christmas…). I’m sure you would have your own personal favourites… the two games against our London rivals, the derby-of-sorts with Aldershot perhaps. One thing we probably all are aware is if there’s something riding on the final game, its likely to be our visitors Shrewsbury looking for a playoff place. We may not challenge, but even more than the first season in the Conference I feel it will take quite a while for the novelty factor to wear off. Lets just enjoy the ride.

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Fixtures Part Two

blue sqOk. Deep breath. I’ve carried stuff downstairs all afternoon, in this hot hot weather (tomorrow morning I have to carry it upstairs, so it doesn’t get any easier…). I think you caught me at a bad time earlier as all I could do is moan about Luton at home. It is undoubtedly a great opener for us as a club, our opponents are current holders of the Johnstones Paint Trophy and extremely unfortunate not to still be in the league after the club were docked 30 points for the actions of a previous administration, with the points they won last year they would have finished mid-table in League Two.

So they should stroll this division, right? Well, no. The unnatural promotion/relegation between The Conference and The League of only two clubs up and down means some large clubs have got caught in the Conference net, and there is a great deal of deadwood still knocking about at the bottom of League Two. Our opponents have to face the prospect of a wound up Cambridge, beaten playoff finalists two years on the trot, an Oxford side who haven’t been able to work their way out despite their huge crowds, moneyed Stevenage have been knocking on the door for way too long, Wrexham and Mansfield will be looking for a challenge this year. Plus there are sides like Rushden and York who are going to be no pushovers.

Plus lets not knock ourselves out of contention before we have even begun. We are going to be a real wildcard this season, a young side looking to prove they have what it takes to launch a challenge in the coming years, in front of what should be a more hostile crowd to what we have seen in previous years, in a tight ground that’s likely to be full more often than its not. And Luton have to come here first.

Next up, Eastbourne away. My prediction we would play them on opening day was not far out. After the sellout Luton game its our first ‘usual’ Conference fixture. Perhaps a few hundred travelling fans and what will be a tough test for us, and an immediate return to the sort of fixture you sense means more to our opponents than it doe to us.

Our first Saturday trip sees us visit Kettering. Anther decent test for us against what I’m sure will be an upper midtable side. Quickfire games at home to Salisbury followed by Altrincham and our trip to the Manchester suburbs see u take a weeks rest before Oxford hit town. Probably our two biggest home games in our first three fixtures at Kingsmeadow.

But it doesn’t finish there! Our next home games see us face Wrexham, and then Cambridge United! A bit annoying, as the new facilities for visiting supporters will not be available, so we can’t just throw them in the corner, we have to give them the whole of the Kingston Road End (although surely we won’t give Wrexham the whole end for a midweek game?).

I’m sure the second fixture after opening day that any of us that celebrate our birthdays during the season is which game takes place closest to our big day. This year I will be spending most of my 32nd birthday in (or travelling to)Barrow-in-Furness.

So what is the most unappetising fixture on the list. Well as I correctly predicted yesterday we are playing Hayes and Yeading over Xmas, so our December trip to Salisbury looks like the best (or worst) candidate, being a Tuesday in early December, but cup runs could see other games moved.

Of course what I have been writing about for the last two months or so hasn’t been football. I know what your thinking, blog based on a football club, I’m sure I’ve been reading quite a bit about football here recently? Well you’re wrong. All I have been writing about has been the prospect of us playing football. Next weekend will see some element of football that we can view ourselves come back into the equation, albeit only friendlies. By the time I get my internet sorted I can finally write about the game itself once more!

Until then, take care of yourselves.

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Fixtures Part One

Bloody hell Luton Town first up. That’ll sort the men from the boys.

But can I be the first to say why oh why oh why couldn’t we have gone to Oxford or Luton on the first day, at least 2000 tickets available to us so anyone who really wanted to go could have got in there early. Surely its better to have these games at the 11000 Kassam (or whatever they’re calling it these days) or 9000 Kenilworth Road (or whatever theyre calling it these days… its been too long) rather than, erm, 5000 TCRRFSKM (or whatever we’re ca… sorry). It makes sense. Why do you think we got Newport away last year… because they knew we would have four figures travelling and it was the only ground that could cope… plus it was miles away and they thought it might put a few people off. By that logic I suppose a trip to Gate Shed would have been ideal, but lets save that for our final day promotion 10th place party.

Anyway, more ‘comment’ later… I’ve got to pack my shit prior to the movement of the entire Anonymous Don empire a mile down the river to Surbiton tomorrow AM.

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The General Specific (Thursday 2nd July ’09)

Phew, what scorching weather we are having! The Anonymous Don is now almost bronze after a few days in the sun, including a very enjoyable evening in Hyde Park on Tuesday catching the rays, listening to music, hanging around the misting tent (we might need one of those at Kingsmeadow if the weather stays like this) and finding if you drink too much Gaymers cider your mouth tastes like raw meat in the morning.

I won’t give a report of Bon Ivers headlining set because (a) this isn’t a music blog and (b) your probably not that interested anyway, suffice to say I had an enjoyable time, and you should all rush out and buy his album. Its at this point I would also like to fulfill contractual obligations by saying ‘happy birthday’ to my sister, and sorry we didn’t get you a card – we’re too busy moving right now. In fact tomorrow may be my last posting for a while until I get my new office (i.e. the closet) set up in my new flat, providing ample comedic opportunities for my wife to shout ‘Isn’t it about time you came out the closet?’ every time she considers me spending too much time writing this blog.

blue sqI will be around tomorrow to give my full reaction to the new fixtures released tomorrow. It will indeed be an exciting moment for all of us, not just because it’s our first season in the Conference Premier, but whatever division we are in I always find the releasing of fixtures to be the closest I can get to Xmas eve as a kid. Guaranteed I’ll be lying awake tonight, dreaming of unlikely victories at Oxford and Luton, celebrating last minute winners at Altrincham or hammering sorry Grays.

No offence to those clubs. Tomorrow it will be even worse, as I know where I’ll be on the 8th of August, on Christmas Eve or New Years Day. Having said that I know for a fact we will be at Kingsmeadow for one of those festive dates, and I’m 80% certain one of the others will be spent in the company of Hayes and Yeading (you heard it here first – as far as I’m aware). The point being I will be able to visualise it more, as I’ll actually know where we will be, even if in reality I will actually be spending New Year in the States as is the current plan.

When I was a kid, the reality of Xmas Eve did not always live up to the expectations of the night before. If I were to sit down tomorrow and predict the scores to every game we will probably end up winning the league by about twenty points. For that reason I’m not going to, but right now I would like to remind everyone that I predicted Eastbourne Borough at home would be our first game a good two weeks ago.

And lets hope the announcement of fixtures heralds some news on a TV deal. Right now I would have thought ESPN would have been the leading, if not only, takers for anything like serious money. Plus I really want to see Sky taken down a peg or two by a serious competitor, they charge too much for me to justify shelling out for Premier League games, half a Champions League and a few League Cup fixtures just to see the likes of Jamie Redknapp tell everyone how good his cousin is. ESPN could help drive the costs down for casual subscribers like myself who feel we have a right to watch top level football for free. In fact why don’t the monopoly people make sure one of the Premier League packages goes to a free-to-air station? Maybe that’s too sensible?

In fact I wouldn’t mind the Conference rights going to a Five or a Dave so long as the games are played at a reasonable time. After all, what do Dave show at 1730 on a Saturday? Plus they wouldn’t want to offend those of us who want to watch QI repeats in the evening so will be unlikely to show games on Monday/Thursday nights… although if any of them want Paul Parker as a studio expert perhaps its best if we stay off the nations screens after all…

In other news, apparently Mr Brown is going to sacrifice any chance of entertainment during the Wycombe and Brighton games by playing two entirely different XI’s in each half. Hurray. I suppose that will give us the chance to see all of our squad being tested to the limit by League 1 opposition, and presuming the squads are balanced we should be able to field reasonably strong sides in both halves, so speculation you may have read elsewhere that we could lose 0-7 will be wide of the mark. Plus, with four home games, the contrast between that and us giving those Bucheon-stealing Bury-touchers FCUM and Fulham’s Non-Europa League Match Squad Select XI a darn good spanking will probably be quite enjoyable.

Plus we still don’t know who, if anyone, we are playing on the Tuesday after Wycombe. Is it North Greenford? Are we playing a training game, and if so will it be at the training ground? Because I like the idea of supping a pint while watching from Woodies car park… Plus whats all this about Godalming? I missed out on both during the CCL days so wouldn’t mind catching up…

Finally, whats happened to The Big Tissue? (I appreciate this is normally where you would come to get answers to questions, so apologies for posing so many myself this evening). I have heard rumour that Rivals has closed for good, which I sincerely hope is not true. The guy that writes Big Tissue, who seems to keep his identity quiet (perhaps we should swap roles?), was probably the best Wimbledon related writer out there, so I hope he bounces back quickly. Preferably at the Wimbledon Mad site, which they seem to have insisted on giving the worst name imaginable (they won’t be in the wider interest of my fist if I ever catch up with them). Anyway, my appeal to Mr Big Tissue, whoever you may be, if Rivals is gone for good, get yourself over there now!

So bed down, fellow Wombles, for in the morning all will be revealed. Plus we have the Andy Murray Semi-Final to look forward to later. Wouldn’t it be great if he won? A British player in the final at Wimbledon? Plus if he loses we can all go on about how he isn’t good enough and never will be. Besides, fuck him, he is Scottish after all…

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Opening Day

My attention was drawn this morning to the following link…

http://www.conferenceforum.co.uk/cboard.mpl?action=View+Thread&thread=33896

Not because I actually believe it of course, after all isn’t it really strange how staff at businesses who sort out fixtures manage to get made redundant just at what I would presume is their firms busiest time of the year? 

As well as this, the WHAK spin off ‘What The Hell Are We Doing In Stratford?’ has already pointed out the fixtures are produced ‘manually’. I presume this means a series of unique rounds are produced, then inserted into the calendar for whenever they see fit. This explains how they get the Xmas/New Year derbies in place. The newsletter already pointed out the fixtures are produced after the League fixtures are published on Wednesday to avoid clashes.

Which means the person who posted this is a bit of a Billy Bullshitter. As you will remember from seasons past, there are normally a good few of these. If there are enough, there are only 46 possible fixtures we could have, so someone is bound to get it right. This plum has us as Altrincham away, and a few days ago frequent Anon Don commenter Kevin Smyth went for Grays Athletic away, one of the smallest away sections in the division as a worst case scenario.

So its time for me to weigh in with my guess opinion. I’m going to go for AFC Wimbledon v Eastbourne Borough. Feel free to join the game, and we’ll see who’s right on 3rd July (or before…).

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