Chichester cup tie in balance for fourth time

Muddy pitch at Oaklands Park, Chichester (Photo: Alex Twitchen)Chichester City’s hopes of staging their FA Cup second-round tie with Enfield Town at the fourth attempt are fading.

After two postponements at Oaklands Park, the tie was switched, in accordance with FA rules, to Enfield, who in turn also failed to stage the game last weekend.

They are due to try again in north London on Sunday, but with the South East drenched in yet more rain, the game is again in the balance. Continue reading

Fixture chaos highlights need to retain players

First part of an investigation into the impact of the South East’s wettest winter in memory

Leylands Park, Burgess Hill (26/1/14)Clubs in the South East are fighting to keep their players interested as the region heads towards its worst fixture pile-up in most people’s memories. Continue reading

Teenage enthusiasm embodied by spirit of Southdown

Southdown Girls 0-8 Lewes Girls

Muddy goalmouth at Leylands Park (Jan 26 2014)

Club officials worked wonders to make Leylands Park playable, but it still had its shortcomings

If reminder were ever needed of why I created a blog on women’s football, today’s experience at a cold, wet, boggy Leylands Park provided it.

While women’s clubs right across the South East – and beyond – counted the cost of yet another match-less Sunday, a bunch of schoolgirls were playing out 80 minutes of attritional combat on a pitch more suited to cross-country, with more than the odd glimpse of skill – and considerably more enthusiasm. Continue reading

Pompey home and dry at last

Round-up of today’s action

Charley Wilson in action for Portsmouth against Keynsham earlier in the season (Jordan Hampton)

Charley Wilson set up two of Pompey’s goals against Keynsham (Photo: Jordan Hampton)

Portsmouth Ladies set up a mouthwatering third-round FA Cup tie after beating Premier League rivals Keynsham Town 4-0.

Two goals by Gemma Simmonds and one apiece from Gemma Hillier and Sarah Kempson secured a convincing victory on the West Country side’s all-weather pitch and a home clash with Lewes in the next round.

The twice-postponed second-round tie was switched to Keynsham’s 3G surface, and it paid dividends, as continuous rain throughout the region wiped out virtually yet another programme of matches. Continue reading

Clubs desperate to avoid January wipeout

A look-ahead to the weekend’s matches

Waterlogged patch of Oaklands Park, Chichester (Photo: alex Twitchen)

Many teams have not played at all since Christmas (Photo: Alex Twitchen)

Clubs all over the South East are crossing fingers, prodding pitches and doing the opposite of rain dances to try to avoid a total January wipeout.

The only thing the majority of teams in Sussex and Surrey – and many in Hampshire and Kent – have been kicking since Christmas is their heels, as incessant rain and consequent flooding have caused scores of fixtures this month to be postponed. Continue reading

Sam’s funeral ‘for family and friends’

Sam Peterson-Sleep (Photo: Rachel Major)

Sam Paterson-Sleep died of a brain aneurysm on January 16

The funeral service for Sam Paterson-Sleep will be held in Brighton on February 3.

The family of Sam, who died last Thursday, says it will be held in the South Chapel of Woodvale Crematorium, at 11.30am.

Sam’s father, Ian, told me the service was “for family and close friends”. The chapel has a capacity of 80. Continue reading

Gillingham overhauled as weather again the winner

Round-up of the games that survived the weather

Gillingham were knocked off the top of the Premier League South as title rivals Cardiff City hit nine in what was left of the weather-hit programme.

The Welsh side trounced bottom club Chesham United 9-1 to overhaul the Gills by a single goal. Continue reading

Last-gasp Barton denies Spurs victory

Brighton & Hove Albion 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur

Kirsty Barton celebrates her late equaliser against Spurs (190114) (Photo: Geoff Penn/BHA)

A Kirsty Barton goal from a free-kick proved invaluable for the second week in a row (Photo: Geoff Penn/B&HA)

Spurs came agonisingly close to avenging their FA Cup defeat at Brighton, but last week’s tormentor-in-chief, Kirsty Barton, popped up again to add late insult to injury.

A much-improved Tottenham dominated most of the Premier League rematch at the Withdean.

But they returned to north London with only one point – and an acute feeling of resentment. Continue reading

Sam Paterson-Sleep – England’s proudest fan

Sam Peterson-Sleep (Photo: Rachel Major)

Tributes have been pouring in from the world of women’s football for Sam Paterson-Sleep

By far the saddest post I have had to write on Sent Her Forward is to announce the death of Sam Paterson-Sleep.

I had known this lovely lady for a whole… week. Yet her sudden death, from a brain aneurysm, has had a profound impact on me.

Sam was well known and widely respected in women’s football as a loyal, passionate fan, both of England and her beloved Brighton & Hove Albion, where she had just become marketing officer for the ladies’ team. Continue reading

More downpours threaten fixture chaos

A look ahead to what remains of the weekend’s football fixtures

Waterlogged patch of Oaklands Park, Chichester (Photo: alex Twitchen)

Once again most of the weekend’s games are expected to be rained off (Photo: Alex Twitchen)

The fragmented football season in the South East faces yet more disruption as still more torrential rain threatens to wipe out most of the weekend programme and plunge local football towards yet another fixture crisis.

Few of Sunday’s women’s and girls’ matches are expected to survive, with many pitches unable to cope with even more rain on already saturated ground that has already forced scores of postponements. Continue reading