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Best Non Pyramid League in London?

 

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stevegraze
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Dec 9, 2011, 4:03 PM

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Post #376 of 752 (31331 views)
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FA National Sunday Cup - 3rd Round Preview [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

I will try and go along to the New Salamis game. If I do, I will post a match report here. Fixtures involving London teams (all 1pm kick-offs):

New Salamis v Lea Hall Sports & Social (at Cheshunt FC)
FC Tripimeni v Falcons (at Broxbourne Borough V&E FC)
Sungate v Northampton Duke Of York (at Barking FC)
Hazelhurst v Dee Road Rangers (
at Banstead Athletic FC)

All the London teams are at home. At these will be close games against good quality opposition. Sungate are big underdogs against a team that reached the SF last season.


..and the Jewish Chronicle has written a nice preview of Hendon Utd's daunting LFA Sunday Intermediate cup tie to face Lapton this weekend: http://www.thejc.com/...-matchday-14-preview


(This post was edited by stevegraze on Dec 9, 2011, 5:43 PM)


darney
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Dec 10, 2011, 10:52 AM

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Post #377 of 752 (31285 views)
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Re: [HughesVideo] LFA LFA Sunday Intermediate Cup - 3rd Round Preview [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Hughesy there is mention of the Charlton United V Hatcham LFA match they are playing it next Sunday (18th), I believe these two sides also met in one of the league cups earlier this season and it was abandoned with Hatcham leading 2-1 so the LFA match could be a bit tasty!!


HughesVideo
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Dec 10, 2011, 12:14 PM

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Post #378 of 752 (31268 views)
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Re: [darney] LFA LFA Sunday Intermediate Cup - 3rd Round Preview [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


In Reply To
Hughesy there is mention of the Charlton United V Hatcham LFA match they are playing it next Sunday (18th), I believe these two sides also met in one of the league cups earlier this season and it was abandoned with Hatcham leading 2-1 so the LFA match could be a bit tasty!!


That's right. It was here on Sunday 23rd October in the 'Bill Braisted Memorial Trophy'...due to 'an incident off the pitch'.

When we played Charlton United in the LFA Sunday Intermediate Cup last season (at their ground) they had some bloke supporting them who was a right loony. Not trying to deliberately cause trouble, but just very irritating. Coming round to our side of the pitch and shouting non-stop, putting our Manager off, inadvertently getting in the way of the camera while I was trying to film the game...that sort of thing. Maybe it was him who caused the problem against Hatcham ? The London F.A. have obviously had to hold back the Intermediate Cup match until the case with the League Cup game has been dealt with.

This is what sometimes happens in Sunday football and it can cause a massive problem for the clubs themselves. If somebody comes along to watch a game and starts hurling abuse at a Referee or opposing players, they get classed by the League and the County F.A. as a 'club member' even if that person is not a registered player or club official. Matches sometimes get abandoned if a punch-up ensues, then the club get fined for 'failing to control their supporters'.
It's totally different to the Non-League Pyramid where gate money is taken and spectators stay behind a barrier. They shout the same abuse and the worst that happens is they get slung out of the ground by a steward. Obviously Sunday teams can't do that over a public park.
Pyramid clubs only get in trouble if spectators leap the barrier, but on Sundays there is no barrier.



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(This post was edited by HughesVideo on Dec 10, 2011, 12:16 PM)


Isaac
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Dec 11, 2011, 2:57 PM

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Post #379 of 752 (31229 views)
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Re: [HughesVideo] LFA LFA Sunday Intermediate Cup - 3rd Round Preview [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

FA SUNDAY CUP RESULT

Sungate 3 Northampton DOY 0

More details to follow on WDYG section


HughesVideo
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Post #380 of 752 (31190 views)
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Re: LFA Sunday Intermediate Cup - 3rd Round [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Some London F.A. Sunday Intermediate Cup Third Round Results from Sunday 11th December...

Lapton 7 Hendon United Sports 1
Koture 0 Albion Manor 0 (AET...Koture won 5-4 on Pens.)
Golden Eagles 4 Phoenix 4 (AET...Phoenix won 3-2 on Pens.)
Norton 1 Convoys 2
Apoel 3 Caribb Reserves 0
Westminster Wanderers 1 Sabanoh 3

No real surprises there.

Still trying to find out the result of Real Northern v. Yalova but it should be up on the Sportsmans Sunday League Website (Mitoo) at some stage over the next couple of days. Nothing on Yalova's club website yet either.



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darney
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Dec 12, 2011, 11:29 AM

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Post #381 of 752 (31151 views)
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Re: [HughesVideo] LFA Sunday Intermediate Cup - 3rd Round [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

FA Sunday Cup 11th December 2011

Hazlehurst 0 Dee Road Rangers 5

Looks like Hazlehurst met their match against Dee Road Rangers!!


stevegraze
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Dec 12, 2011, 12:48 PM

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Post #382 of 752 (31134 views)
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New Salamis v Lea Hall Sports and Social Club [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

@Hughesvideo; “No real surprises?!” I don’t think 7-1 to Lapton against a team runaway leaders of their league was a predictable result! I was at the Lapton game. I arrived at HT (by which time Lapton were already 3-0 up and the game was over as a meaningful contest). Let’s just say that Lapton are a cruel and merciless team. They are physically powerful, eviscerated Hendon and quite frankly took the p*** out of them. I will post a match report later when I get confirmation of the goal scorers. However I want to dedicate today’s match report to the New Salamis FA National Sunday Cup game which I also attended.

MATCH REPORT – LESSON NUMBER 1: ALWAYS TAKE YOUR CHANCES


New Salamis (KOPA League – London) v Lea Hall Sports and Social Club (Festival League, Birmingham), FA National Sunday Cup, 3rd Round, Kick-Off 1pm
Venue: Cheshunt FC, Att: 45-50

The match programme (£2) was a pitiful waste of paper that had no info other than a bland list of Salamis’ recent results and ads by businesses. That said, New Salamis are no ordinary ‘Sunday team’. Even without their GK Michael Kalli and Colombian import Steve Valendia (Waltham forest FC – Ryman league, Step 4), their starting 11 had at least 9 semi pro Saturday players including:

RB – James Chrysanthou (ex Waltham Forest, Step 4), CD – Costantinos Zarnas (a Cyprus U21 international and professional in Cyprus for Aris Limassol), LB – Michael Deane (Harlow Town FC - Ryman League Div 1 – Step 4), CM - David Hicks (Wealdstone FC – Ryman league, Premier - Step 3), LM – Mario Georgiou (Haringey Borough FC, Spartan South Midlands League – Step 5), CF: Jeff Hammond (Waltham Forest FC – Ryman league, Step 4), CF: George Gregoriou (ex Leyton, Enfield and Cheshunt), subbed on: John Kyriacou (Chesham FC, Southern League, Step 3), Kyriacos Portou (Spartan South Midlands League, Step 5), Doug Morton.

Wikipedia profile of New Salamis' Cyprus under 21 international Constantinos Zarna:
http://en.wikipedia.org/.../Constantinos_Zarnas

I spoke to a Salamis official and asked him whether they get such high quality players through their association with Cheshunt FC (Ryman League Div 1, Step 4). He dismissively told me that most of Salamis’ players are “too good to play for Cheshunt”. New Salamis are a high quality and exceptionally well run team.

Salamis “officially” played 4-4-2 but it looked more like 4-2-4 due to their wingers who pushed far forward. The FA Cup actually allows Salamis to make better use of their large squad as it frees them from the “max 3 foreigners” rule in the KOPA League.

I arrived late (as usual!) by which time the score was already 1-1. Salamis were on top, playing slick inter-passing and dominating possession. Despite being under a lot of pressure, it was strangely Lea Hall who created more dangerous chances on the rare occasions they managed to get into Salamis’ half to attack. They were denied a blatant penalty by the ref when their striker (number 11) was tripped by the Salamis GK, and also had a goal-bound shot cleared off the line. The ref was very fussy and ordered Michael Deane off the pitch for wearing black underwear (which was not visible to anyone other than the ref – quite how he saw I have no idea) under his red shorts. He forced Deane to remove said black underwear even though they were not visible under his red shorts! The ref then refused to let Deane back on the pitch for several minutes after he took them off – despite several breaks in play and Salamis being down to 10 men as a result.

HALF TIME SCORE: 1-1

In the second half, Salamis’ midfielder David Hicks was excellent. He is not lightning quick, but has excellent technique, He retained and distributed possession well, and played some great short and long range passes. He reminds me of a young Glenn Hoddle (those old enough to remember him!) or Riquelme. He played in Jeff Hammond for a great chance, but the Lea Hall GK blocked Hammond’s shot with his right hand with Hammond 1-on-1 with the GK. Hicks worked three more excellent openings – for himself (one on his right foot, two on his left), all of which trickled agonisingly just wide of the post. Hammond injured his hand trying to turn the ball in and had to have his fingers strapped together.

Salamis’ 21 yo substitute and wonder kid Kyriacos Portou (on for Georgiou) then turned and smashed an excellent 25 yard curling shot against the underside of the bar. The ball bounced clear. Salamis would rue those missed chances and not capitalising on their superior possession.


RED CARD AND REF DRAMA

The Salamis Capt’s armband went from Georgiou to Hicks, and then onto Morton when he came on. More ref drama followed when a Lea Hall striker (number 12) was booked for a theatrical late dive. He dived ages after he had been tackled by Salamis’ center back Zarnas, and Salamis were already launching a counter-attack! A Lea Hall player was then sent off for two bookable offences. He was booked, then got a second yellow for dissent. The ref had to go off the pitch to explain the decision to the irate Lea Hall manager.

1-1 AT FULL TIME, EXTRA TIME:

Strangely, as often happens when teams go down to 10 men, Lea Hall IMPROVED after the red card. Instead of battening down the hatches and playing for penalties as expected, they changed to 4-3-2 and started putting Salamis under pressure – forcing some good saves. All of a sudden Salamis looked tired and you forgot that Lea Hall had only 10 men. Their two giant center backs were rock solid and kept Salamis’ strikers Hammond and Portou shackled.

118 minutes:
With a penalty shoot out looming, Lea Hall won a corner. Salamis did not clear, and a fierce left footed drive from 10 yards hit the back of the net and sent Lea Hall and their fans into wild celebration. Salamis were shocked and crestfallen. Their players all sat down in their penalty area in disbelief (they looked like the Bayern players when Man U scored those late goals in 1999). They did not seem to believe there was enough time for them to equalise.

119 minutes: As Salamis pushed men forward, their GK and sub Doug Morton hesitated and allowed an almighty 100 foot high clearance by Lea Hall’s capt and center back to bounce 10 yards outside the Salamis area. The GK hesitated before making a clumsy challenge in which he, the Lea Hall striker and Morton collided. The Lea Hall striker got up first, and lobbed the ball into the empty goal from about 12 yards out. Lea Hall went wild again, and their jubilant subs and bench ran onto the pitch to celebrate with their players. Salamis’ fans started leaving the stadium. Salamis were beaten by 2 goals in the last 3 minutes of extra-time.


This game reminded me of the epic Baldon Sports –v- Clapton Rangers LFA Sunday Challenge Cup semi-final a couple of seasons ago. Same scoreline (3-1) and one team dominating possession and playing the better passing football (Salamis/Clapton), the other team getting red cards (Lea Hall/Baldon), then fighting back to win with two late goals in the dying minutes of extra-time (Lea Hall/Baldon).

Final Score: New Salamis 1 -v- Lea Hall Sports and Social Club 3 (AET)


(This post was edited by stevegraze on Dec 12, 2011, 2:11 PM)


London Harrier
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Dec 12, 2011, 1:03 PM

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Post #383 of 752 (31128 views)
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Re: [stevegraze] New Salamis v Lea Hall Sports and Social Club [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


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That said, New Salamis are no ordinary ‘Sunday team’. Even without their GK Michael Kalli and Colombian import Steve Valendia (Waltham forest FC – Ryman league, Step 4), their starting 11 had at least 9 semi pro Saturday players including:

RB – James Chrysanthou (ex Waltham Forest, Step 4), CD – Costa (a Cyprus U21 international), LB – Michael Deane (Harlow Town FC - Ryman League Div 1 – Step 4), CM - David Hicks (Wealdstone FC – Ryman league, Premier - Step 3), LM – Mario Georgiou (Haringey Borough FC, Spartan South Midlands League – Step 5), CF: Jeff Hammond (Waltham Forest FC – Ryman league, Step 4), CF: George Gregoriou (ex Leyton, Enfield and Cheshunt), subbed on: John Kyriacou (Chesham FC, Southern League, Step 3), Kyriacos Portou (Spartan South Midlands League, Step 5), Doug Morton.

I spoke to a Salamis official and asked him whether they get such high quality players though their association with Cheshunt FC (Ryman League Div 1, Step 4). He dismissively told me that most of Salamis’ players are “too good to play for Cheshunt”. New Salamis are a high quality and exceptionally well run team.



Is that their normal team or did they draft in a load of ringers?


Richard Rundle
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Dec 12, 2011, 1:08 PM

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Post #384 of 752 (31126 views)
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Re: [stevegraze] New Salamis v Lea Hall Sports and Social Club [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


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The FA Cup actually allows Salamis to make better use of their large squad as it frees them from the “max 3 foreigners” rule in the KOPA League.



Such a rule can't be legal, can it?


HughesVideo
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Dec 12, 2011, 1:23 PM

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Re: [Richard Rundle] New Salamis v Lea Hall Sports and Social Club [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


In Reply To

In Reply To
The FA Cup actually allows Salamis to make better use of their large squad as it frees them from the “max 3 foreigners” rule in the KOPA League.



Such a rule can't be legal, can it?


Not sure about 'legal' but it's because the KOPA League is a specific 'Community League' unlike your average Sunday League. The same applies in the Turkish Community Football Federation and (I expect) in the Maccabi Sunday League judging by their member clubs' squad lists.
Up until about 10 years ago there was also an Anglo-Italian Sunday League in the London area with similar regulations.



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stevegraze
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Dec 12, 2011, 1:32 PM

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Post #386 of 752 (31110 views)
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Re: [Richard Rundle] New Salamis v Lea Hall Sports and Social Club [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

*Darney - I am shocked at Hazelhurst's loss. I thought they were London's best hope (along with New Salamis) of success in the FA Sunday Cup. Ah well, we still have Sungate (who I thought would lose to an excellent Northampton DOY team) and Tripimeni left.

*London Harrier - no, that IS New Salamis' regular line up! All those players for them EVERY WEEK. No ringers. You can read the wikipedia profile of Salamis' Cypriot U21 international center back Constantinos Zarna at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/.../Constantinos_Zarnas

In fact New Salamis might argue that they were under strength because they were without their regular GK Michael Kalli (ex Wingate & Finchley, Ryman League Premier - step 3), and midfielders Dean Fenton (Harrow Borough FC, Ryman League Premier - step 3), and Steve Valendia (Waltham Forest FC, step 4). New Salamis play ALL their home games at Cheshunt FC (not just FA Sunday cup matches). It says something about their quality when some club members think they are "too good to play for" the semi-pro Ryman League club they ground share with!

Later on, I will post details of other high quality Sunday teams that play in 'proper' stadia (i.e. stands, dugouts etc). There are quite a few.

*Richard Rundle - New Salamis play in the (Cypriot) KOPA league which is a league mainly for Cypriot community players. As they are a private league, they can impose the 'no more than 3 foreigners on the pitch at one time' rule (similar rules are in force in professional football leagues Italy, Spain and elsewhere).


(This post was edited by stevegraze on Dec 12, 2011, 1:49 PM)


HughesVideo
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Re: [London Harrier] New Salamis v Lea Hall Sports and Social Club [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


In Reply To

In Reply To

That said, New Salamis are no ordinary ‘Sunday team’. Even without their GK Michael Kalli and Colombian import Steve Valendia (Waltham forest FC – Ryman league, Step 4), their starting 11 had at least 9 semi pro Saturday players including:

RB – James Chrysanthou (ex Waltham Forest, Step 4), CD – Costa (a Cyprus U21 international), LB – Michael Deane (Harlow Town FC - Ryman League Div 1 – Step 4), CM - David Hicks (Wealdstone FC – Ryman league, Premier - Step 3), LM – Mario Georgiou (Haringey Borough FC, Spartan South Midlands League – Step 5), CF: Jeff Hammond (Waltham Forest FC – Ryman league, Step 4), CF: George Gregoriou (ex Leyton, Enfield and Cheshunt), subbed on: John Kyriacou (Chesham FC, Southern League, Step 3), Kyriacos Portou (Spartan South Midlands League, Step 5), Doug Morton.

I spoke to a Salamis official and asked him whether they get such high quality players though their association with Cheshunt FC (Ryman League Div 1, Step 4). He dismissively told me that most of Salamis’ players are “too good to play for Cheshunt”. New Salamis are a high quality and exceptionally well run team.



Is that their normal team or did they draft in a load of ringers?


All those players will be registered for New Salamis on KOPA League forms, but in League games only 2 or 3 'Non-Cypriot' players are allowed on the pitch at any one time for a particular team. I'm not sure what the exact rules are though.
Obviously the players listed above with names ending in 'ou' are classed as a Cypriot player even though most were probably born in this country, but it's quite possible that some of the English names have links to Cyprus anyway, so yes that could be almost a regular New Salamis' line-up.
Some of those English players may have a Cypriot relative, or some may have resided in Cyprus for a while and played football professionally over there. Some English players playing in the KOPA League may even have been born in Cyprus. The North London area has huge links with Cyprus.



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Dec 12, 2011, 1:49 PM

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Post #388 of 752 (31103 views)
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Re: [HughesVideo] New Salamis v Lea Hall Sports and Social Club [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

If a Sunday League side goes on a decent cup/league run, can they sign anyone they like during the season? In other words, could they bring in 11 semi pro footballers just to win a match, or are there transfer/registration restrictions?


stevegraze
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Dec 12, 2011, 1:58 PM

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Post #389 of 752 (31099 views)
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Re: [London Harrier] New Salamis v Lea Hall Sports and Social Club [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

London Harrier, most Sunday league teams have strict rules on transfers, and players have to be properly registered with their league. They also have transfer deadlines/cut-off dates just like Saturday leagues, and players can be cup tied. Playing cup tied players or players not properly registered can result in teams being fined or expelled from their league! (which has happened a lot)

Not much difference between Saturday and Sunday football other than the day on which it is played!

Also, as Hughesvideo said - judging by the cockney accents of the New Salamis players, most of them are Brits born and raised in London! I suspect many (except Zarnas - the Cypriot international) spent most of their lives in UK and rarely go to Cyprus. Their parents/grandparents are probably of Cypriot descent though.


(This post was edited by stevegraze on Dec 12, 2011, 2:00 PM)


HughesVideo
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Post #390 of 752 (31097 views)
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Re: [HughesVideo] LFA Sunday Intermediate Cup - 3rd Round [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

The missing LFA Sunday Intermediate Cup Third Round result...
Real Northern 1 Yalova 4
Again, no real surprise.

Stevegraze, I meant no real surprises in who actually got through to the 4th Round. Sly
Lapton beating Hendon United Sports was on the cards, although not by such a margin I must admit.

I expect Charlton United to get through once they finally play and I think it's pretty clear that they, Lapton and Yalova must be the favourites to win the competition. Charlton United are now top of the top Division in the Metropolitan Sunday League.



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HughesVideo
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Post #391 of 752 (31089 views)
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Re: [stevegraze] New Salamis v Lea Hall Sports and Social Club [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


In Reply To
London Harrier, most Sunday league teams have strict rules on transfers, and players have to be properly registered with their league. They also have transfer deadlines/cut-off dates just like Saturday leagues, and players can be cup tied. Playing cup tied players or players not properly registered can result in teams being fined or expelled from their league! (which has happened a lot)


Also, an increasing number of Sunday Leagues are now using the Full-Time facility (or similar systems) whereby registered and eligible players are listed before the match takes place.
For example, here is who can play in our Waltham Sunday League Division One match at Home to Enfield Crusaders this coming Sunday.
You will notice a certain Dave Hicks (of Wealdstone fame) listed for Enfield Crusaders even though he is also registered with New Salamis in a different League. It's the same situation that sometimes occurs in the Non-League Pyramid on Saturdays with 'dual registrations' for players allowing them to play at different 'Steps' to give them match practice.
If Enfield Crusaders had beaten Yalova in the London F.A. Sunday Intermediate Cup and still been in this season's competition though, Dave Hicks would not have been allowed to play for them in any further matches in that competition because he has now played for New Salamis in a more Senior F.A. Sunday Cup competition this season.



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Isaac
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Dec 12, 2011, 4:01 PM

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Post #392 of 752 (31071 views)
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Re: [stevegraze] New Salamis v Lea Hall Sports and Social Club [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


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*Darney - I am shocked at Hazelhurst's loss. I thought they were London's best hope (along with New Salamis) of success in the FA Sunday Cup. Ah well, we still have Sungate (who I thought would lose to an excellent Northampton DOY team) and Tripimeni left.



I was certainly suprised that Hazelhurst lost 0-5 although Dee Road Rangers are obviously a decent side and Tripimeni host them in the next round.

I was less suprised about Sungate beating Northampton DOY, I thought this was a game that could go either way and Sungate host Comets Sports in the next round, another game which I think is too close to call.


(This post was edited by Isaac on Dec 12, 2011, 4:02 PM)


leohoenig
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Re: [Isaac] New Salamis v Lea Hall Sports and Social Club [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

I take it then that New Salamis regularly play more Cypriots than Nea Salamis, who I watched udring my recent trip to the Island. Working from flags on soccerway (less than 100% accurate). Nea Salamis started with exactly zero Cypriots, but brought one on as sub for the last six minutes.



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darney
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Post #394 of 752 (31048 views)
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Re: [HughesVideo] LFA Sunday Intermediate Cup - 3rd Round [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Hughesy I don't think its a given that Charlton United will progress in the LFA as Hatcham have already beaten them once in that abandoned league cup match and I think it could well go either way when they meet on sunday. I watched Charlton United beat Woodpecker yesterday in the Met Prem 4-1 in the league and they could have had double figures in all honesty but in saying that they are still not a great side defensively and Woodpecker had chances to get back in the game even though they went down to 10 men in the second half. Its a shame that both Baldon Sports and Peckham town are no longer in that league as it seems at the moment that Charlton United are having it a lot easier than I for one believed they would in that league.

Regarding Hazlehurst in the Sunday FA Cup it was also a great surprise to me that they lost 0-5 to Dee Road Rangers as Hazlehurst have a very strong side this season including Guyanian International Shawn Beveney in their ranks, Dee Road must be a very good side indeed to win so comfortably away from home against a team that rarely loses let alone gets absolutely hammered as 0-5 scoreline suggests.


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Lapton -v- Hendon United Sports Match Report (LFA Sunday Intermediate Cup 3rd Round) [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

MATCH REPORT
London Sunday Intermediate Cup, 3rd Round. Lapton (Hackney and Leyton League) –v- Hendon United Sports (Maccabi Football League). December 11, 2011

This was the tie of the 3rd round. Two elite teams entering LFA competition for the first time: one top of their league (Hendon), the other has won all its matches this season (Lapton).

TEAM PROFILES

LAPTON
Lapton were formed in 2002 and joined the bottom tier (4th Division) of the 5 division Hackney and Leyton League. They made history by becoming the first team to ever win all 5 divisions in successive seasons. They gained consecutive promotions every season straight from the division 4 into the Premier division - winning the title by a mile each season on their way.

In their first two seasons they were unbeaten, scored 192 league goals in the 36 league games they played in those seasons; and finally lost for the first time in their third season after an incredible 2 year and a half year unbeaten streak spanning 45 games. Once they got to the Premier Division, they won the Premier Division title 4 times in a row. After 8 consecutive league titles, they finally entered LFA competition.

HENDON UNITED SPORTS
Hendon are called “the Hammers” and are also a top quality side - top of the Maccabi League. They have a number of players that play semi-pro on Saturdays in the Spartan South Midlands League (including Ben Lauffer who plays for London Lions). They received a bye in the first round of this cup, but against 10 man Middlesbrough Supporters FC in the 2nd round; fought back from 0-2 down at half-time to score two late goals to take the time to extra-time, where they eventually triumphed 4-2 AET.

They prepared for their visit to Lapton with an 8-0 demolition of Montana FC. They also had the advantage of match sharpness as Lapton had not played for 2 weeks. Despite the daunting task of playing Lapton, Hendon manager David Garbacz was confident and told the Jewish Chronicle:

“Sunday will be a true test for us and we are all truly looking forward to the challenge…They are a very strong team but we will not be intimidated and we will be determined to give as good as we get and let our football do the talking. This is just the type of fixture that will prove just how far my team has come and how good we really can be. We go into this game full of confidence on the back of a really solid domestic run."

FORM
Both teams were in good form. Lapton are undefeated with a 100% record this season - 8 wins out of 8 games played. In the first round of this cup, they destroyed Kensington Athletic of the Sportsmans Senior Sunday League 11-2, followed by a 7-0 thrashing of Bullers FC from the Orpington and Bromley District Sunday League. Going into the game - Lapton's results this season were: 9-2, 11-1, 3-0, 11-2, 9-1, 4-1, 7-0, 3-1. They scored 58 goals in their first 8 games of the season!

If football teams were cars, Hendon would be soft top sports car: sleek, fast, pleasing on the eye. Lapton would be a rugged 4 x4/SUV Humvee – direct and able to run over anything in its path.

THE GAME
At half-time, Hendon were in a serious huddle, trying to motivate themselves. Meanwhile the Lapton players were joking and smiling. The different body language of the two teams could tell any passer by who was winning. By half-time Lapton were 3-0 up and the game was over as a meaningful contest.

Lapton started the 2nd half sloppily with some loose, casual passing and unnecessary backheels. However Lapton do not just win football matches. They like to steam-roller the opposition, then reverse back to flatten them some more. Soon after the second half started, Lapton’s left-back casually walked over to the Hendon manager David Garbacz and informed him “we are going to score 5 more goals” and kept counting down as more goals rained in. His taunting of the Hendon manager, and mocking of Hendon’s Ben Lauffer who went off with a hamstring injury; was tactless and unnecessary – especially as he was Lapton’s worst player.

Less than 5 minutes into the second half Hendon conceded a penalty after a handball in the box, and Lapton’s Uzoma Okpala calmly took a few steps at walking pace and side footed into the net from the penalty spot (to complete his hat-trick) and put Lapton 4-0 up. The goalscorer casually waved to the bench and ref and subbed himself off while still celebrating the goal and while high fiving and embracing his team mates. He is actually a defender who played in attack due to the absence of Lapton’s regular striker Ibby Ranks.

Lapton then took off two of their most experienced players: Gabriel Fanibuyan (Chesham Utd, Southern League Prem – step 3, ex Canvey Island – Ryman League Prem) and Daniel Stephenson, but they still kept on scoring. As Hendon pushed forward to try and get back in the game – they were mercilessly picked off by Lapton’s rapid counter-attacking – especially the devastating pace of Lapton’s right winger. For some unknown reason, Hendon did not think it was a good idea to mark him, despite being told to do so at half time by their manager and despite all the problems he caused them.

Although Hendon scored a consolation goal through Danny Kon, their attacks took a familiar pattern: great approach play, passing and individual skill until they got to the edge of Lapton’s area. The Hendon attack would then be broken up, the ball would be launched forward for a Lapton counter-attack and a few seconds later, the ball would be in the back of the Hendon net. This was the pattern for Lapton’s 5th, 6th and 7th goals scored by Courtney Laidley (after a brilliant individual 30 yard dribble) Daniel Stephenson, and top scorer Maurice Byfield (ex Enfield FC – Essex Senior League – step 5).

Lapton were in so much control that their right winger took time out (while the ball was still in play and Hendon were attacking on the edge of the Lapton penalty area!) to play kick-about on the touchline with his team-mates who had been subbed off. Lapton are a very strong team, but they have some arrogant players too! The exception to this overconfidence was Lapton's tiny but skillful midfield playmaker Courtney Laidley (a product of Haringey Borough’s youth system – Spartan South Midlands League – step 5), who urged his showboating team mates to "do the work". Lapton poached him from league rivals Clapton Rangers.

I spoke to one of Lapton’s senior players who seemed genuinely surprised when I told him that Hendon are a good side who are top of their league, and who have semi-pro players in their team. He replied with a nonchalant “oh really” and said no more. He did not seem to know (or care) that the opposition facing him were an excellent side too. He was impressed by Hendon’s spirit though, and admitted that Hendon “never stopped going”.

The really scary thing about this scoreline is that Hendon Utd Sports PLAYED WELL. It was not a case of them “not turning up”. They gave a good go. Hendon’s approach play was very good and they had many slippery and mobile players but they were picked apart by Lapton’s lightning counter-attacks. At times it seemed as if Lapton allowed Hendon to attack just so they could catch them on the break. Hendon’s manager David Garbcz agreed and said:

we found ourselves at the mercy of some brilliant counter-attacking football by Lapton. They had some exceptional forwards and were far more clinical than us in front of goal…It was a good learning curve for us today and we learnt some harsh lessons when playing at this kind of level. On the positive side we know we competed excellently and cannot afford to make individual errors against a super strong team such as this.”

FINAL SCORE: LAPTON 7 –v- HENDON UNITED SPORTS 1

Lapton progress to another home game in the quarter-final where they will face Sabanoh 97 of the Woolwich & Eltham Sunday Football Alliance – Premier division (Lapton have been drawn at home in all 4 rounds of this competition so far).


(This post was edited by stevegraze on Dec 16, 2011, 12:21 PM)


Isaac
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Dec 16, 2011, 11:57 AM

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Maybe Lapton will enter the Challenge Cup next season as they appear to be too good for the Int Cup?


stevegraze
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Maybe Lapton will enter the Challenge Cup next season as they appear to be too good for the Int Cup?


ISAAC - I think Lapton entered the Intermediate cup for 2 reasons: (a) this is the first time they have ever entered a county cup; so I guess they want to "get used" to county cup competition (and the travel it involves!) before entering the tougher Challenge Cup; and (b) as good as Lapton are, I think there is a realisation that this Lapton team is not as good as their teams of the past (a scary thought when you consider their scorelines this season!).

I spoke to one of their senior members who told me that they waited too long to enter LFA cups. He admitted that the current team is not as good as their great 2006 team which he described as "..the best Sunday team I've ever seen. We were telepathic. We just didn't concede goals" (they kept over 20 clean sheets that season).


Yesterday they won 10-0 in a "domestic" cup tie against Hackney Borough. They spent half-time arguing with the ref about whether the HT score was 6-0 or 7-0 (not that it mattered much, and they also had a goal disallowed!). Going forward, they are so razor sharp and incisive. They seem to burst into life in the final third of the pitch. I don't know how good their defence is since their GK did nothing yesterday other than take a goal kick, and they spend so much time attacking that their defenders are rarerly under pressure.

I think they have 2 questions to answer. One is what will happen if they get drawn away, and second is - are they overconfident after easily crushing so many teams by double digits? Overconfidence is not new for them. I recall one incident involving their great 2006 team they speak of. They were a 1st division (2nd tier) team back then and after beating the Premier League champions Hoxton Athletic in a cup tie, one of their players was heard shouting "we're gonna smash the Premier next year"...a prediction which may have seemed premature given that they were only halfway through the season and had not yet been promoted to the Premier Div! (admittedly, they did get promoted and they did smash the Premier! ..but still...)

HUGHESVIDEO, your players may continue to rue not taking the match with Albion Manor more seriously. Albion's woes continued yesterday as they arrived late on the pitch for their home match with Clapton Rangers. The ref and Rangers players were out on the pitch warming up, waiting for them in the cold, and the furious ref awarded the game to Clapton Rangers without a ball being kicked. Albion continue to plummet down the table and have not won a league game since they played you 6 weeks ago.


(This post was edited by stevegraze on Dec 19, 2011, 4:25 PM)


HughesVideo
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Re: [stevegraze] Lapton [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately



HUGHESVIDEO, your players may continue to rue not taking the match with Albion Manor more seriously. Albion's woes continued yesterday as they arrived late on the pitch for their home match with Clapton Rangers. The ref and Rangers players were out on the pitch warming up, waiting for them in the cold, and the furious ref awarded the game to Clapton Rangers without a ball being kicked. Albion continue to plummet down the table and have not won a league game since they played you 6 weeks ago.


Ah...the good old 'last Sunday before Christmas' ! Wink

Year after year and probably in every Sunday League in the country you will find teams failing to turn up for their matches on this date because of Xmas parties the night before or players volunteering to work on a Sunday because they need the money to buy Xmas presents, etc.. You also get some bizarre scorelines because teams are fielding less than eleven or using players who are seriously hung-over.

We lost 3-0 to our fellow London F.A. Sunday Intermediate Cup entrants Enfield Crusaders yesterday in a Waltham Sunday League Division One match. Our goalkeeper failed to turn up due to a party the night before and we had to put a defender in goal who thought we were playing 5-a-side. He 'forgot' goal-kicks had to be kicked in 11-a-side matches and he therefore bowled the ball out under-arm instead ! Wait 'til you see it on You Tube ! Crazy
We also lost our best central midfield player on the morning of the match as he got called in to work. (He is a plumber...probably had a frozen pipe to repair somewhere ?). Even though the game kicked-off 20 minutes late as we waited for the frozen pitch to thaw out, we still couldn't get players out of bed in time and we ended up fielding a bare eleven including 8 forwards...with none of them wanting to volunteer to fill in in defence or midfield.
Enfield Crusaders turned up with a squad of 16 and the strongest team they had put out all season, including Ryan McMenemy (St. Margaretsbury...Step 5), Chris Webb & Jamie Smith (both Cheshunt...Step 4) and Danny Bradford (ex-Cheshunt & other Ryman League sides). They also had a player (Oraldo Kola) making his debut who scored all three goals. He plays for Old Stationers First XI in Division Three of the Southern Amateur League on Saturdays but I doubt whether he will be for very long. He was easily Step 4 quality.
We were lucky not to lose 10-0. They let us off the hook with some seriously bad finishing. If Enfield Crusaders had turned up with that side against Yalova earlier this season in the LFA Sunday Intermediate Cup, they would have beaten them.

We were a laughing stock yesterday with our stand-in goalkeeper's antics, which was very frustrating when we were on our best run of form in the League for 9 years in being unbeaten in 5 matches ! Enfield Crusaders were extremely fired up, having lost their previous two matches 3-0 to FC Rosemill and then 5-0 to FC Alpha...a team who would give Lapton a close game in my opinion, if only they would enter the LFA Sunday Cups and test themselves.

Also in our League yesterday we had Flamstead End beating FC Rosemill 10-0 and Percival beating the once-mighty Continental (three times LFA Sunday Challenge Cup winners) 10-3. Another shock result was Lea Valley Royals (who are second in the Premier Division and include ex-England Under-21 International Lee Marshall and numerous Step 5 players in their squad) losing 6-2 to Division Three side Larsens in a Cup match, although Larsens's goalscorers' were two ex-Waltham Abbey players (Step 4) and a hat-trick from Marc Sontag, who played for Concord Rangers in the Ryman Premier last season. It's another example of the strength-in-depth of the Waltham Sunday League, but also of how 'wacky' results can be at this time of year.



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stevegraze
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Hughesvideo, your GK’s “underarm”/throwing the ball out antics are hilarious! J How did he not realise it was NOT a 5-a-side game when he saw 22 players on the pitch?! LOL. It is that kind of thing (and the ‘last Sunday before Christmas’ syndrome) that gives Sunday football a bad rep.
I’m sure several teams turned up with only 9/10 starting players this past weekend. Even Lapton had only 2 (unfamiliar looking) subs. Strangely, one of their regular players was standing at pitch-side looking smart wearing jeans, a jacket, a scarf, and wristwatch; while chatting away about his time playing for Bethnal Green Utd of the Essex Senior League (step 5). Not sure why he was not playing/in kit.

Albion Manor actually did turn up, but for some reason spent a long time in the changing room (where one staff member said they were “messing about”) before deciding to actually show up on the pitch. I think the ref must have got angry when he realised they had arrived, but were keeping him waiting by staying in the changing room.
You rate FC Alpha highly. A few questions about them: (i) Who do they have playing for them? (ii) Do you think they will challenge Upshire for the Prem title next season? (iii) What trophies have they won?


HughesVideo
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Hughesvideo, your GK’s “underarm”/throwing the ball out antics are hilarious! J How did he not realise it was NOT a 5-a-side game when he saw 22 players on the pitch?! LOL. It is that kind of thing (and the ‘last Sunday before Christmas’ syndrome) that gives Sunday football a bad rep.

You rate FC Alpha highly. A few questions about them: (i) Who do they have playing for them? (ii) Do you think they will challenge Upshire for the Prem title next season? (iii) What trophies have they won?


Steve...regarding our stand-in goalkeeper's antics, it's even more embarrassing when he is a former Enfield Town defender (albeit briefly) ! Shocked
As I say though, Christmas parties can certainly 'scramble the brain' for a Sunday morning footballer at this time of year ! Wink
You are right though. It's things like this which do give Sunday football a bad name...and why this £200 million investment the F.A. are putting into 'grass roots football facilities' is highly unlikely to go towards your average mens' 'Pub Team'.

Regarding FC Alpha, I don't know whether this link will work, but hopefully it will list their players' appearances so far this season (under 'Player Season Totals').
They are very secretive about where they have got their players from and who they play for on Saturdays...and also as to why they are not entering the London FA Sunday Cup competitions. I have not come across any of them playing locally in the Non-League Pyramid...unlike most other clubs in our League. It looks to me like they might be connected with one of these 'Pro-Tec' Academy things whereby players get released from pro clubs at 18 and then train in the mornings and study in the afternoons, while having trials for lower League/Semi-Pro clubs from time to time. Their Manager and Assistant/Coach have clearly done their badges. Could even be 'EUFA B -standard' ? FC Alpha's players all seem to be the same age (between 18-21 I would say) and they are very fit, quick, skilful and well-organised, especially in the centre of midfield. They are also an extremely well-disciplined side and I have lost count of the number of times they have been awarded 10 out of 10 for Fair Play by their opponents this season, which is almost unheard of in Sunday League football. (Our League list the Fair Play marks on Full-Time). Most teams award each other an 8 out of 10.

FC Alpha have only been going for 3 years. They started off here in the North London Sunday League where they just missed out (by one point) on winning the title in the top division in their first season...as 18-year-olds ?
They then joined the Waltham Sunday League the following season and easily won Division Two (with Enfield Crusaders finishing second) and now they are top of Division One and are still in both the League Cup competitions.
The general consensus of opinion in our League at the moment is that FC Alpha, Flamstead End and Cuffley are all better than any team in the Premier Division, Upshire included. Enfield Crusaders are also easily good enough for the Premier Division if they field the team they had out against us. Upshire are a good side, but they have been extremely fortunate to win 9 out of 9 so far. Most of that has been due to other Premier Division sides really struggling to field settled sides because of work & family commitments. Most players in the Premier Division of our League are in their late-20's/early-30's and can't play every week. That's where FC Alpha, Flamstead End and Cuffley are so good. Their players are all younger, fitter and extremely committed.

We have not played Cuffley yet. They drew 2-2 with FC Alpha in their last match and are the only side to beat them so far this season (2-1 back in October). They won the Premier Division of the East Herts Corinthian Sunday League last season by a big margin and their squad includes several players from St. Margaretsbury and Hoddesdon Town (both Spartan South Midlands League...Step 5).
Flamstead End are scoring a hatful of goals every game and it is going to be very tight for the Division One title between those three.
Flamstead End and Cuffley are both Hertfordshire F.A.-affiliated, but I expect they would both give Lapton a close game as well.



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(This post was edited by HughesVideo on Dec 20, 2011, 12:49 PM)

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