How I watched football: 2017-18

‘What the hell are you doing here watching this?’

I was asked that question by an assistant referee on a freezing late February afternoon at Holmesdale. I couldn’t answer it then. I’m still not sure I can. What possesses me to get on a bus and travel for the best part of an hour to the fringes of Bromley, the outskirts of the outskirts, to watch twenty-two men really test the boundaries of what can be defined as a game of football?

For five years now I’ve pulled together these photographic retrospectives of a season watching football; this one has undoubtedly been the hardest to endure. My hometown club have for the most part been an uninspiring beige (I haven’t seen them score an away goal since August), my country left themselves too much to do in World Cup qualification, and my local team are so bad that at one match their chairman sought me out to apologise for the fact they were 5-0 down… at half-time. But then these are hardly new or unfamiliar phenomenon. It’s not like I’m in for the glory.

No, it’s been hard because it’s been a bleak year personally. You don’t need the details, you only came here for some photos of football matches after all. But the upshot of this is that whereas football has always felt as though it offered me something of an escape, at too many times in the past six months or so its felt like all I’ve got. And so I’ve often found myself pondering, and stumped by, that same question asked of me by the assistant referee at Oakley Road. What am I doing here watching this?

This loss of direction and of purpose is probably why I attended more matches this season than in any of the last five I have documented. I went to football because it was there and it was familiar and that was both enough of a reason and nowhere near a good enough one in equal measure. There have been high points, don’t get me wrong – experiencing Moldova and Georgia, catching up with a much-missed friend as Doncaster swept aside Blackburn at Ewood Park, watching games in the company of my parents at Penmaenmawr and Ilkeston respectively – but truth be told, I’m just glad it’s over.

It’s time to pause and take stock before starting all over again, and you can’t do that mid-season can you?

by Glen Wilson

Match 1, August 2017

2017-18 01 Doncaster Rovers 0-0 Gillingham (2)

Doncaster Rovers 0-0 Gillingham
League One

Match 2, August 2017

2017-18 2 Blackburn Rovers 1-3 Doncaster Rovers (1)

Blackburn Rovers 1-3 Doncaster Rovers
League One

Match 3, August 2017

2017-18 3 Cray Valley Paper Mills 2-1 Sevenoaks Town (2)

Cray Valley Paper Mills 2-1 Sevenoaks Town
Southern Counties East League Premier Division

Match 4, August 2017

2017-18 4 Tower Hamlets 0-4 Takeley (2)

Tower Hamlets 0-4 Takeley
FA Cup Preliminary Round

Match 5, August 2017

2017-18 5 AFC Wimbledon 2-0 Doncaster Rovers (1)

AC Wimbledon 2-0 Doncaster Rovers
League One

Match 6, August 2017

Dulwich Hamlet 2-1 Tooting & Mitcham United

Dulwich Hamlet 2-1 Tooting & Mitcham United
Isthmian Premier League

Match 7, September 2017

2017-18 7 Wales 1-0 Austria (1)

Wales 1-0 Austria
FIFA World Cup Qualifier

Match 8, September 2017

2017-18 8 Moldova 0-2 Wales (2)

Moldova 0-2 Wales
FIFA World Cup Qualifier

Match 9, September 2017

2017-18 9 Bashley 2-1 Portland United (2)

Bashley 2-1 Portland United
Wessex League Premier Division

Match 10, September 2017

2017-18 10 Welling United 1-2 Harringey Borough (2)

Welling United 1-2 Haringey Borough
FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round

Match 11, September 2017

2017-18 11 Arsenal 1-0 Doncaster Rovers (2)

Arsenal 1-0 Doncaster Rovers
League Cup 3rd Round

Match 12, September 2017

2017-18 12 Dulwich Hamlet 4-0 Leatherhead (2)

Dulwich Hamlet 4-0 Leatherhead
Isthmian League Premier Division

Match 13, September 2017

2017-18 13 Lewisham Borough 1-5 SC Thamesmead (1)

Lewisham Borough 1-5 SC Thamesmead
Southern Counties East League Division One

Match 14, September 2017

2017-18 14 Harringey Borough 4-1 Bideford (2)

Haringey Borough 4-1 Bideford AFC
FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round

Match 15, October 2017

2017-18 15 Georgia 0-1 Wales (2)

Georgia 0-1 Wales
FIFA World Cup Qualifier

Match 16, October 2017

2017-18 16 Wales 0-1 Ireland (2)

Wales 0-1 Republic of Ireland
FIFA World Cup Qualifier

Match 17, October 2017

2017-18 17 Charlton Athletic 1-0 Doncaster Rovers (2)

Charlton Athletic 1-0 Doncaster Rovers
League One

Match 18, October 2017

2017-18 18 Doncaster Rovers 0-3 Walsall (2)

Doncaster Rovers 0-3 Walsall
League One

Match 19, November 2017

2017-18 19 Waltham Forest 0-2 Basildon United (1)

Waltham Forest 0-2 Basildon United
Essex Senior League

Match 20, November 2017

2017-18 20 Birmingham City 3-2 Doncaster Rovers Belles (3)

Birmingham City Ladies 3-2 Doncaster Rovers Belles
Continental Tyres Cup

Match 21, November 2017

2017-18 21 Lewisham Borough 4-5 Stansfeld (1)

Lewisham Borough 4-5 Stansfeld OB
Southern Counties East League Division One

Match 22, November 2017

2017-18 22 Tottenham Hotspur 1-4 Doncaster Rovers Belles (2)

Tottenham Hotspur 1-4 Doncaster Rovers Belles
FA Women’s Super League 2

Match 23, November 2017

2017-18 23 Buxton 0-3 Grantham Town (2)

Buxton 0-3 Grantham Town
Northern Premier League Premier Division

Match 24, November 2017

2017-18 24 Waltham Forest 1-1 Hullbridge Sports (1)

Waltham Forest 1-1 Hullbridge Sports
Essex Senior League

Match 25, November 2017

2017-18 25 Doncaster Rovers 2-1 MK Dons (2)

Doncaster Rovers 2-1 Milton Keynes
League One

Match 26, December 2017

2017-18 26 Wealdstone 3-1 Braintree Town (2)

Wealdstone 3-1 Braintree Town
National League South

Match 27, December 2017

2017-18 27 Dulwich Hamlet 2-1 Brightlingsea Regent (2)

Dulwich Hamlet 2-1 Brightlingsea Regent
Isthmian Premier League

Match 28, December 2017

2017-18 28 Lewisham Borough 4-0 Crockenhill (3)

Lewisham Borough 4-0 Crockenhill
Southern Counties East League Division One

Match 29, December 2017

2017-18 29 Fisher 4-1 Lewisham Borough (1)

Fisher 4-1 Lewisham Borough
Southern Counties East League Division One

Match 30, December 2017

2017-18 30 Kings Lynn Town 1-1 St Ives Town (1)

King’s Lynn Town 1-1 St Ives Town
Southern League Premier Division

Match 31, December 2017

2017-18 31 Penmaenmawr Phoneix 0-2 Glan Conwy (2)

Penmaenmawr Phoenix 0-2 Glan Conwy
Welsh Alliance League Division 2

Match 32, January 2018

2017-18 32 Lewisham Borough 0-3 Kent Football United (2)

Lewisham Borough 0-3 Kent Football United
Southern Counties East League Division One

Match 33, January 2018

2017-18 33 Doncaster Rovers 1-1 Plymouth Argyle (3)

Doncaster Rovers 1-1 Plymouth Argyle
League One

Match 34, January 2018

2017-18 34 Dulwich Hamlet 1-2 Wingate & Finchley (2)

Dulwich Hamlet 1-2 Wingate & Finchley
Isthmian League Premier Division

Match 35, January 2018

2017-18 35 Dagenham & Redbridge 1-3 Solihull Moors (4)

Dagenham & Redbridge 1-3 Solihull Moors
National League

Match 36, February 2018

2017-18 36 Lewisham Borough 0-5 Sutton Athletic (1)

Lewisham Borough 0-5 Sutton Athletic
Southern Counties East League Division One

Match 37, February 2018

2017-18 37 Croydon 0-1 Glebe (3)

Croydon 0-1 Glebe
Southern Counties East League Premier Division

Match 38, February 2018

2017-18 38 Dulwich Hamlet 1-1 Enfield Town (1)

Dulwich Hamlet 1-1 Enfield Town
Isthmian League Premier Division

Match 39, February 2018

2017-18 39 Chelsea 6-0 Doncaster Rovers Belles (2)

Chelsea 6-0 Doncaster Rovers Belles
FA Women’s Cup 5th Round

Match 40, February 2018

2017-18 40 Holmesdale 1-0 Gravesham Borough (3)

Holmesdale 1-0 Gravesham Borough
Southern Counties East League Division One

Match 41, March 2018

2017-18 41 Sigma Olomouc 1-0 FC Slovacko (3)

SK Sigma Olomouc 1-0 1.FC Slovacko
Czech First League

Match 42, March 2018

2017-18 42 Southend United 0-0 Doncaster Rovers (3)

Southend United 0-0 Doncaster Rovers
League One

Match 43, March 2018

2017-18 43 Welling United 1-3 Oxford City (3)

Welling United 1-3 Oxford City
National League South

Match 44, March 2018

2017-18 44 Raynes Park Vale 7-1 Bagshot (2)

Raynes Park Vale 7-1 Bagshot
Combined Counties League Division One

Match 45, March 2018

2017-18 45 Lewisham Borough 1-8 Holmesdale (2)

Lewisham Borough 1-8 Holmesdale
Southern Counties East League Division One

Match 46, March 2018

2017-18 46 Ilkeston Town 4-0 Cadbury Athletic (1)

Ilkeston Town 4-0 Cadbury Athletic
Midland Football League Division One

Match 47, April 2018

2017-18 47 England 0-0 Wales (1)

England 0-0 Wales
FIFA Women’s World Cup Qualifier

Match 48, April 2018

2017-18 48 Gillingham 0-0 Doncaster Rovers (2)

Gillingham 0-0 Doncaster Rovers
League One

Match 49, April 2018

2017-18 49 Carshalton Athletic 4-3 Whyteleafe (1)

Carshalton Athletic 4-3 Whyteleafe
Isthmian League Division One South

Match 50, April 2018

2017-18 50 Doncaster Rovers 3-3 Bury (3)

Doncaster Rovers 3-3 Bury
League One

Match 51, April 2018

2017-18 51 Falmouth Town 3-0 Newquay (1)

Falmouth Town 3-0 Newquay
West Peninsula League Premier Division

Match 52, April 2018

2017-18 52 Oldham Athletic 0-0 Doncaster Rovers (2)

Oldham Athletic 0-0 Doncaster Rovers
League One

Match 53, May 2018

2017-18 53 Dulwich Hamlet 1-0 Leiston (3)

Dulwich Hamlet 1-0 Leiston
Isthmian League Premier Division Play-Off Semi-Final

Match 54, May 2018

2017-18 54 Doncaster Rovers 0-0 Wigan Athletic (3)

Doncaster Rovers 0-1 Wigan Athletic
League One

Match 55, May 2018

2017-18 55 Millwall Lionesses 0-1 Doncaster Rovers Belles (2)

Millwall Lionesses 0-1 Doncaster Rovers Belles
FA Women’s Super League 2

 

All photographs taken using an iPhone and the Instagram app.

6 thoughts on “How I watched football: 2017-18

    1. I apologise Glen, I have just read your overview above said pictures!! Onwards and upwards for all your teams (especially rovers) and I salute you for your fantastic overview and being a shear wordsmith with the fanzine.

  1. Feel a bit uncomfortable leaving criticism having read the text but I was disapppointed the pics couldn’t be viewed in a larger format. Not sure if that was your choice or constrained by the WordPress theme but I’m sure last year’s could been seen full screen. Small pics in a sidebar format doesn’t do your work justice.

    1. Cheers for the kind comments… yeah we’ve changed theme since last year so it’ll be that. As most of the content on here is predominantly text based it works better for most things we do, but yeah, perhaps not this. If you narrow your browser to a tablet-ish size then the images do display a bit bigger. Might be of help.

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