And so it comes to pass, that another season of football draws to a close. It’s been a busy one for myself as a snapper. It’s taken me across the country (including a 580 mile round trip in a day), culminating in photographing the FA Vase final at Wembley.
Here’s my top ten personal favourite pictures that I took this season and a little bit of background behind them. They may not be technically the best pictures or you might feel I have stronger photos in my collection, but as with all photography, it’s a matter of personal taste. I hope you like my selection. Enjoy.
The 1872 FA Cup Final Replay
I suppose I should start with this one. A friend helped organise a replay of the very first FA Cup final and invited me along to photograph it. The match was held at the original venue – the Oval. I couldn’t resist getting the magnificent pavillion into a shot… what a backdrop! This photo was voted as Non-League photo of the year by fellow peers… a very proud and humble moment for me.
FA Vase 1st Round – Swanage
A free train ticket took us to Dorset to witness Swanage Town and Herston play Newport IOW in the FA Vase… a competition I’d follow right through to the Final. A glorious ground on a glorious day helped me produce on of my most favourite sets of photos this season. I chose this picture not because it really stands out from the rest, but as a fond memory of the day. I do like the sweat coming off the players’ heads as the ball heads towards me.
Happy Chap – Redhill
Nothing more than just a geniune happy chap. Redhill played Corinthian-Casuals in the FA Cup and he was defending at the near post for a corner. I pointed the camera his way and he responded.
Muddy Marvels – Tunbridge Wells versus Shildon AFC
These next three pictures comes from Tunbridge Wells’ exploits in the FA Vase. The semi-final saw them face Durham-based Shildon AFC. Weather had caused a large number of postponements across the country, but under pressure to avoid any more fixture backlog, the game went ahead in what can only be described as a bog.
The first picture cried out “Monotone”. In colour, I probably wouldn’t have kept the image. Player’s back to me, action heading the wrong direction… it doesn’t tick many of the boxes for a good football shot. However, why stick to rules. Turning this black and white almost thrusts this photo back to the 60’s and 70’s when a muddy pitch was a permanent sight… especially at Derby’s old Baseball Ground.
The second shot is of Wells’ striker Andy Irivne celebrating their first goal. He ran straight towards me. This picture made the front cover of the Non-League Paper.
Emotion. I love this game!
Tunbridge Wells had more work to do in the semi-final… it was to be played over two legs, home and away. A 580 mile round trip took us to Durham to witness the second leg. Here, Shildon’s Jamie Lee Owens rues a missed opportunity. I love the stand in the background!
I love good goalmouth action. Here, Leatherhead took on Three Bridges in a game I covered for the Non League Paper.
In Agony. A Met Police player goes down injured under the challenge of a South Park defender in the FA CUp 4th Qualifying Round. For me, this one is about expressions.
It would be rude not to finish with one of my pictures from the FA Vase final at Wembley. Here, Spennymoor’s Keith Graydon celebrates scoring the winner versus Tunbridge Wells. More on this game can be seen here.
I hope you enjoyed looking at some of my work. More of my football articles can be seen here.
Author – Stuart Tree