The View from a photographer in non league football
Cold wet and miserable down the park once again, still 45 mins till kick off. Have to get to the ground early, I rush to the press box to be welcomed by young Brian and his family to pass a few pleasant minutes and I think this is what makes non league football such a pleasure. Next I turn to the Herts ad reporter Mark and ask what images he would like this week, to which he replies rather dryly “just one in focus would do”. next I ask Tav’s for a team sheet making the fatal mistake of adding whats this week’s gossip, as he starts talking my thoughts start to wander I look up and think would the old blue beams holding the old main stand up take my weight if I decide to hang myself. After a few minutes I awake from this daydream state to see Dave waiting patiently for a answer to a question I never heard, Coffee I say and make a escape towards the hot dog van, what no chips again, still it helps to keep me going.
Quick chat with Leigh the other photographer down the park as we await for the mighty Saints to appear we check our equipment and talk technical details which involves Leigh holding out his hand and stating the obvious its stopped raining but looks like we will get a soaking at some stage this afternoon.
The Teams arrive and line up, a quick chance to photograph this weeks new players,
hope full the Saints lose the toss and have to kick into the sun making life so much easier for us, if not the players. Then we sprint to our positions always taking the same places sit down and wait for the action to begin. The opposition go straight on the attack and the lone voice from the terrace shouts defend! defend! defend!, Not sure the players are taking any notice of this advice as the ball hits the back of our net. Some time later after defending and the ball breaks out to C.Henry who runs with the ball towards the byline he looks up and sees Simon Martin sprinting from the half line, Chris takes a break has a cup of tea and poses for a few more images to fill up my hard drive, he looks up once more to see Simon just arriving at the edge of the box, then the ball go back to where it once came 30 yards back down to the wing to Layne who then turns passes the ball across the middle of the park to Graham then onwards to the other wing for Seeby. I feel lost the players seem to be passing to each other and playing the ball along the floor, not sure football at this level will catch on. Oh! how I wish for the old days when the fullbacks would just boot the ball as high and far upfield and our forwards would chase it more in hope than expectation. As quick as a flash Seeby crosses and little Greg Ngoyi nips in and scores, too bloody quick for me to capture it sharp, still he runs towards the camera to celebrate, I don’t have the heart to tell him I’ve missed the goal.
Half time comes and I am off to see Dave for the statistics, 6 shots on target to their 3, 7 corners to their 2
4 offsides all Henry to their 1. He omits to mention the goal tally our one to their 3
second half to follow.
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