Though there may be no Premier League or Championship football to enjoy this weekend as the international break rolls around, fans of lower-league clubs have been celebrating the seventh annual Non-League Day.
With a full slate of fixtures in the National League, the National League North and South, and the FA Cup first qualifying round, there was no shortage of action to follow outside the EFL.
Here, BBC Sport picks five of the biggest stories you may have missed today.
No money-spinning run for Moneyfields
The biggest winners of the day by quite some distance were Chippenham Town, who thumped Moneyfields FC 9-0 in front of a crowd of 252 people to keep alive their hopes of reaching the first round proper for the first time since 2005.
There were nine goals at Ashton Athletic too, where the hosts ran out 7-2 winners over Mossley AFC, while AFC Sudbury won 6-0 at home to Halstead.
Meanwhile, any hopes Dunkirk FC may have harboured of Wembley glory took a major hit when they conceded the first goal of the 15:00 kick-offs in the very first minute of their first qualifying-round tie at Lincoln Town, as Matt Cotton’s shot put the hosts ahead.
And it was all downhill from there, with Town scoring a further five goals to seal their place in the next round and pick up the £3,000 prize money on offer.
Stockport smoke-bomb mars win
While fans across the country were being treated to high-scoring action, some decided to take it upon themselves to generate the headlines.
Stockport brought an impressive support with them for their 3-2 National League North win at Altrincham, but the result was marred by a delay in play caused by a smoke-bomb being thrown onto the pitch at Moss Lane.
Unruly support also caused problems at Kellamergh Park, where AFC Fylde hosted Gloucester City in the same division, with six fans thrown out of the ground following a fight in the stands.
Fortunately, those still able to watch the game were treated to a good contest, as City twice came from behind to earn a very creditable 2-2 draw.
Buxton FC fail to lift Witton Albion curse
It’s a grudge match that few will have heard of, but Buxton FC were out for revenge having lost all five of their previous FA Cup meetings with Witton Albion.
This year would surely be when they would finally end the hoodoo, with the Bucks leading the Evo-Stik Premier League and facing opposition one league below them in the First Division South.
Albion had other ideas, however, taking a 2-0 half-time lead with goals from Brad Bauress and Tom Owens, before Rob Hopley rubbed a bit more salt in the wound with his second-half effort.
Shorey made to wait for Hungerford debut
In August 2007, Nicky Shorey’s career could not have been going too much better, winning his second England cap against Germany and playing regular Premier League football with Reading.
Since then, the left-back has had spells with nine clubs, including National League South side Hungerford Town, who he joined on Friday following his release by Colchester in summer.
« He’s not here for money, » manager Bobby Wilkinson said of his new arrival.
« He’s coming here to play and to help me out. He’s a great lad and still a great player. »
Shorey was left to watch from the sidelines on Saturday, as his new Crusaders team-mates played out a 1-1 draw at Margate.
Guiseley off the mark at last
Guiseley have endured a dreadful start to the National League season, losing their first seven league games and sacking manager Mark Bower after the fifth of those losses.
They finally earned their first point of the season at the third attempt under temporary boss Adam Lockwood, holding fellow strugglers Braintree to a 0-0 draw at Nethermoor.
The Lions are already six points adrift of safety at the foot of the table, having avoided relegation by just one point in their first season in the division last term.
Jordan Ayew tops English Premier League sprint chart after 16 matches
Ghana forward Jordan Ayew has been rated as the player with most sprints in the English Premier League after 16 round of games.
The Swansea City attacker has always been faced with criticisms for his lack of work ethos when playing for the Ghana’s senior national team.
But the former Olympique Marseille man appears to have had the best statistics in arguably the world’s best championship in terms of a player that has made the most sprints in the league after 16 matches
The 25-year-old heads the list of the 10 players ahead of speedsters including Hector Bellerin of Arsenal, Delle Alli of Tottenham and Richarlison of Watford.
According to the Express.co.uk, with their high intensity and counter-attacking football, Manchester City have wracked up the most sprints so far this season with a whopping 6198.
However, relegation-threatened West Ham have managed a measly 4942.
Surprisingly, Manchester United only have the 15th highest amount of sprints with 5210.
Even though Manchester City have wracked up the most sprints as a team, no individual star of Pep Guardiola’s side makes the top 10.
So which Premier League ace has sprinted the most times?
1. Jordan Ayew (Swansea) – 796 sprints
2. Delle Alli (Tottenham) – 742 sprints
3. Jay Rodriguez (Burnley) – 715 sprints
4. Hector Bellerin (Arsenal)- 695 sprints
5. Tom Cleverley (Watford) – 695 sprints
6. Tom Ince (Huddersfield) – 683 sprints
7. Abdoulaye Doucore (Watford) – 682 sprints
8. Richarlison (Watford) – 677 sprints
9. Erik Pieters (Stoke) – 669 sprints
10. Pascal Gross (Brighton) – 662 sprints
Pots announced for Final Draw
With Peru completing the line-up of 32 teams for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, we now know the seeding pots for the Final Draw on 1 December.
It was confirmed in September, by the Organising Committee for FIFA Competitions, that all teams will be allocated to (eight-team) pots 1 to 4 based on sporting principles. The October 2017 edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be used to allocate all qualified teams to the four pots according to their ranking in descending order, after hosts Russia who take the top seeding spot.
With those factors in mind, here are the final pots for the Final Draw:
POT 1 Russia, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland, France
POT 2 Spain, Peru, Switzerland, England, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, Croatia
POT 3 Denmark, Iceland, Costa Rica, Sweden, Tunisia, Egypt, Senegal, Iran
POT 4 Serbia, Nigeria, Australia, Japan, Morocco, Panama, Korea Republic, Saudi Arabia
It is worth remembering that the principle of drawing the teams into the groups will remain unchanged. This means that no teams from the same confederation, with the exception of UEFA, which could have up to two teams in the same group, will be drawn into the same group.
The Final Draw will take place on Friday 1 December at Moscow’s State Kremlin Palace.
« We do not want him at Real Madrid anymore »
Real Madrid are in a bad situation in the league, the club of Casa Blanca is currently third in Liga behind Valencia and Barça, the Catalans have taken a big lead, and this could definitely make them lose the championship in the winter. And a Madrid club player is highlighted in these poor results.
101 million euros for his transfer, 23 injuries since, 73 matches missed or 55% of the matches of his team. Statistics that would drive any coach and / or leaders crazy. You have it ?
These are the figures of Gareth Bale since his arrival at Real Madrid in the summer of 2013 from Tottenham. Whoever has played only nine games in the year 2017/2018 seems to have seriously undermined the patience of its leaders. Just back from a calf injury, he was summoned by the Welsh side to face France in a friendly last Friday, but made the choice to stay in Madrid to prepare for the derby against Atletico Madrid. But, the blow, the Welsh injured during training last Thursday and will be absent about a month.
What continue to fuel the rumors of transfers but especially what cause irritation of the board leader. The latter, tired of not being able to align their triplet « BBC », have made a decision that should be irrevocable, according to the Madrid newspaper AS: It must leave this summer. And the Spanish media also explains that the president of the Madrilenian club, Florentino Perez, added:
« We do not want him at Real Madrid anymore »
Yet strongly criticized last season, Bale had managed to avoid a departure last summer, claiming to want to win at Real Madrid. This year, his start to the season does not plead in his favor and he seems to have exhausted all his jokers in the Spanish capital. The departure of the Welsh international therefore seems to have been recorded.
The rumor of a return to the Premier League, Manchester United in particular, has been reactivated but the number of contenders could quickly evolve in view of the quality of the player. Be careful though, the Welsh is signed until 2022, and Florentino Perez is determined not to sell his player.
Unless a return to its best level, it is difficult to see how the Welsh international could reverse the situation. Zinedine Zidane even found his replacement for 100 million euros.
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