How I watched football: 2016-17

Where do you go after football has finally given you all you’d ever dreamed of? After the joy unbounded of following Wales at Euro 2016 last summer, there was always a danger that watching football, any football, would feel decidedly anticlimactic.

But then, in late August, as I sat on the back row of the Keepmoat, James Coppinger, in his 13th season with my home town club, dropped a shoulder, shifted a leg and rolled the ball through the legs of another perplexed full-back on his way to setting up Doncaster Rovers fourth goal of the afternoon. As he did so I felt myself grinning and beaming like a six-year-old who’s just been told that it’s chips for tea. Sure, it wasn’t that night in Lille, or Toulouse, or Bordeaux. But it was enough to keep me going back for more.

I saw goals this season. Thanks to the swashbuckling attacking football of Rovers, of Dulwich Hamlet, of Maidenhead United, and the porous defence of Lewisham Borough, a lot of goals. Half the matches I attended gave me four or more. And I also lived the pride of others through association – being present at Fisher’s first game back in Bermondsey, standing beneath a ‘We own our club’ banner at Merthyr, and finally seeing Lewisham Borough win a game of football… at the 25th attempt.

I could’ve easily stopped going after Lyon. After all, there’ll never be as high a high again. But football is about the little wins, not the major triumphs. If Lewisham can keep turning up every week, then I must. And as long as James Coppinger keeps putting on red and white hoops and making full-backs look foolish, what more could I want?

by Glen Wilson

Below is a photograph from every match I attended this season. No expensive cameras, no special lenses. Just a very cracked old iPhone and Instagram.

Match 1 | July

Doncaster Rovers Belles substitutes look on during a 4-0 defeat to Chelsea at Staines Town in the FA Women's Super League

Chelsea 4-0 Doncaster Rovers Belles
FA Women’s Super League 1

Match 2 | July

Clapton 2-0 Tower Hamlets

Clapton 2-0 Tower Hamlets
Essex Senior League

Match 3 | August

Fisher 0-0 Rochester United

Fisher 0-0 Rochester United
Southern Counties East League Premier Division

Match 4 | August

Barking 0-0 Stanway Rovers

Barking 0-0 Stanway Rovers
FA Cup Preliminary Round

Match 5 | August

Doncaster Rovers 4-1 Yeovil Town

Doncaster Rovers 4-1 Yeovil Town
Football League Two

Match 6 | August

6 Harringey Borough 0-3 Witham Town (2)

Harringey Borough 0-3 Witham Town
FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round

Match 7 | September

7 Wales 4-0 Moldova (2)

Wales 4-0 Moldova
FIFA World Cup Qualifier

Match 8 | September

8 Lewisham Borough 0-2 Holmesdale (2)

Lewisham Borough 0-2 Holmesdale
Southern Counties East League Division One

Match 9 | September

Whyteleafe 0-2 Welling United

Whyteleafe 0-2 Welling United
FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round

Match 10 | September

Luton Town 3-1 Doncaster Rovers

Luton Town 3-1 Doncaster Rovers
Football League Two

Match 11 | September

Dulwich Hamlet 1-4 Harrow Borough

Dulwich Hamlet 1-4 Harrow Borough
Isthmian League Premier Division

Match 12 | October

Colwyn Bay 0-2 Ossett Town

Colwyn Bay 0-2 Ossett Town
Northern Premier League Division One North

Match 13 | October

Lewisham Borough 0-4 Bridon Ropes

Lewisham Borough 0-4 Bridon Ropes
Southern Counties East League Division One

Match 14 | October

Wales 0-0 Georgia

Wales 1-1 Georgia
FIFA World Cup Qualifier

Match 15 | October

Doncaster Rovers 1-0 Colchester United

Doncaster Rovers 1-0 Colchester United
Football League Two

Match 16 | October

Hampton & Richmond Borough 2-3 Maidenhead United

Hampton & Richmond Borough 2-3 Maidenhead United
National League South

Match 17| October

Lewisham Borough 1-6 Glebe

Lewisham Borough 1-6 Glebe
Southern Counties East League Division One

Match 18| October

Arsenal 2-0 Doncaster Rovers Belles

Arsenal Ladies 2-0 Doncaster Rovers Belles
FA Women’s Super League 1

Match 19| November

Reading 0-1 Doncaster Rovers Belles

Reading 0-1 Doncaster Rovers Belles
FA Women’s Super League 1

Match 20| November

Merthyr Town 2-2 Slough Town

Merthyr Town 2-2 Slough Town
Southern League Premier Division

Match 21| November

Wales 1-1 Serbia

Wales 1-1 Serbia
FIFA World Cup Qualifier

Match 22| November

Fisher 3-4 Sheppey United

Fisher 3-4 Sheppey United
Southern Counties East League Premier Division

Match 23| November

Dulwich Hamlet 4-1 Worthing

Dulwich Hamlet 4-1 Worthing
Isthmian League Premier Division

Match 24 | November

Doncaster Rovers 3-1 Leyton Orient

Doncaster Rovers 3-1 Leyton Orient
Football League Two

Match 25 | December

Stevenage 3-4 Doncaster Rovers

Stevenage 3-4 Doncaster Rovers
Football League Two

Match 26 | December

Dulwich Hamlet 2-2 Royston Town

Dulwich Hamlet 2-2 Royston Town
FA Trophy 1st round

Match 27 | December

Matlock Town 3-1 Buxton

Matlock Town 3-1 Buxton
Northern Premier League Premier Division

Match 28 | December

Conwy Borough 2-3 Holyhead Hotspur

Conwy Borough 2-3 Holyhead Hotspur
Cymru Alliance

Match 29 | December

Meridian VP 0-0 Lewisham Borough

Meridian VP 0-0 Lewisham Borough
Southern Counties East League Division One

Match 30 | January

Dulwich Hamlet 2-1 Hendon

Dulwich Hamlet 2-1 Hendon
Isthmian League Premier Division

Match 31 | January

St Albans City 2-2 Maidenhead United

St Albans City 2-2 Maidenhead United
National League South

Match 32 | January

Doncaster Rovers fans watch their team during Doncaster Rovers 3-1 win over Barnet at The Hive

Barnet 1-3 Doncaster Rovers
Football League Two

Match 33 | January

33-doncaster-rovers-3-1-crewe-alexandra-2

Doncaster Rovers 3-1 Crewe Alexandra
Football League Two

Match 34 | January

Lewisham Borough 3-2 Orpington

Lewisham Borough 3-2 Orpington
Southern Counties East League Division One

Match 35 | February

Whyteleafe 0-1 Corinthian Casuals

Whyteleafe 0-1 Corinthian Casuals
Isthmian League Division One South

Match 36 | February

Dulwich Hamlet 5-2 Braintree Town

Dulwich Hamlet 5-2 Braintree Town
FA Trophy 3rd round replay

Match 37 | February

Arsenal 2-0 Hull City

Arsenal 2-0 Hull City
FA Premier League

Match 38 | February

Southall 2-5 Cleethorpes Town

Southall 2-5 Cleethorpes Town
FA Vase Quarter Final

Match 39 | February

Dulwich Hamlet 2-2 Macclesfield Town

Dulwich Hamlet 2-2 Macclesfield Town
FA Trophy Quarter Final

Match 40 | February

The view from the away stand at Cambridge United's Abbey Stadium at half-time during their 2-3 loss to Doncaster Rovers in League Two

Cambridge United 2-3 Doncaster Rovers
Football League Two

Match 41 | March

Crawley Town 0-0 Doncaster Rovers

Crawley Town 0-0 Doncaster Rovers
Football League Two

Match 42 | March

A Doncaster Rovers supporter watches on during his team's 2-0 win over Cheltenham Town at the Keepmoat Stadium

Doncaster Rovers 2-0 Cheltenham Town
Football League Two

Match 43 | March

Doncaster Rovers players and fans celebrate after John Marquis scores his second goal during Rovers' 4-1 win away at Leyton Orient's Brisbane Road

Leyton Orient 1-4 Doncaster Rovers
Football League Two

Match 44 | March

Dulwich Hamlet 3-0 Havant & Waterlooville

Dulwich Hamlet 3-0 Havant & Waterlooville
Isthmian League Premier Division

Match 45 | March

Republic of Ireland 0-0 Wales

Republic of Ireland 0-0 Wales
FIFA World Cup Qualifier

Match 46 | March

Belper Town 3-1 Shaw Lane AFC

Belper Town 3-1 Shaw Lane AFC
Northern Premier League Division One South

Match 47 | March

Doncaster Rovers attack a free-kick in the first half of their 1-0 defeat to Plymouth Argyle at the Keepmoat Stadium

Doncaster Rovers 0-1 Plymouth Argyle
Football League Two

Match 48 | April

Toronto FC 2-2 Atlanta United

Toronto FC 2-2 Atlanta United
Major League Soccer

Match 49 | April

Cray Valley Paper Mills 2-0 Sevenoaks Town

Cray Valley Paper Mills 2-0 Sevenoaks Town
Southern Counties East League Premier Division

Match 50 | April

Watford 1-1 Doncaster Rovers Belles

Watford 1-1 Doncaster Rovers Belles
FA Women’s Super League 2

Match 51 | April

Doncaster Rovers fans watch the closing stages of their team's 2-1 defeat to Wycombe Wanderers at Adams Park

Wycombe Wanderers 2-1 Doncaster Rovers
Football League Two

Match 52 | April

Supporters at Champion Hill during Dulwich Hamlet's 4-2 play-off win over Enfield Town

Dulwich Hamlet 4-2 Enfield Town
Isthmian League Premier Division play-off semi-final

Match 53 | April

A Doncaster Rovers supporter heads into the Keepmoat Stadium for the second half of his team's 3-1 defeat to Exeter City

Doncaster Rovers 1-3 Exeter City
Football League Two

Match 54 | May

Millwall Lionesses players leave the field at Fisher, trailing 1-0 to Doncaster Rovers Belles at half-time

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

Match 55 | May

A young female fan watches a Doncaster Rovers Belles corner during their 4-0 win at Oxford United in FA Women's Super League 2

Oxford United 0-4 Doncaster Rovers Belles
FA Women’s Super League 2

5 thoughts on “How I watched football: 2016-17

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