WHAT I GOT UP TO IN THE MONTH OF OCTOBER BEING FLEETWOOD TOWN'S MATCHDAY PHOTOGRAPHER

Updated: Jan 13


Welcome back, it's nice to see you have returned to my website to read the third blog of this 2021/22 football season.


Well let's start with the first match of the month. This saw Charlton Athletic travel to the Fylde Coast and it was a chance for their Manager Nigel Adkins to win over the fans after some disappointing results and it's fair to say, he got a response from the players and also the fans who made the trip from central London.


After three defeat in their last five matches, the Addicks picked up all three points in a 2-1 win over Simon Grayson's side - who were themselves looking to expand their unbeaten run to eight matches. Jonathan Leko opened the scoring at Highbury Stadium with a well struck effort across the goal, which with the help of a Jordan Rossiter deflection, beat Alex Cairns between the sticks.


Fleetwood Town came out of the traps the quickest in the second half, and were rewarded for their hard work and determination when left-back Danny Andrew scored his third goal of the campaign, and yes you guessed right, it was another wonderful free-kick. Unfortunately a Charlton defender ran across the frame when Danny made contact, but I managed to capture the celebration which was the next best shot I could capture at the moment.

Unfortunately, it wasn't the Cod Army's day as you will have read above. Charlton striker Jayden Stockley bagged the winner 20 minutes from time with a well struck effort in the penalty area, which beat Town keeper Cairns with shear pace and accuracy. A tough one for Fleetwood to take, but maybe it was the two long journeys in the two previous games which crept up with the players.


The second game of the month saw Town back in Papa Johns Trophy action - which was an away tie at League Two side, Barrow. Holker Street was ground number 69 for me out of the current 92 which means I am slowly edging ever so closer to the full house. Here are a couple of stadium shots from Barrow for those who haven't been there before.


Fleetwood played a young side in the match, giving key first team players a rest in what was a busy end to the month of September, and also with big games coming up in the league. It wasn't the best start for Simon Grayson's side after they went 1-0 down, but with a bit of magic from midfielder Jay Matete - whose 30 yard range thunderbolt whistled past the Barrow keeper to level the score.


Town dominated from that key moment, with Ryan Edmondson adding to his goal tally for the season, and with young Max McMillan getting his first goal for the club (just like Jay earlier in the game) and sealing the three points and progression into the next round of the Papa Johns Trophy.

This match was the last before an international break, and with some time away from the pitch it was perfect time for the whole group to rest up and get ready for what was going to be a busy schedule for the rest of the month of October.


On the 16 October 2021, it was back to league action and this weekend saw Crewe Alexandra make the shortish trip to Highbury Stadium. With both teams towards the wrong end of the table, it felt like a six pointer as a win would see Fleetwood edge away from their opponents, but a result for Crewe would have seen them push closer to the packed.


It was goals galore once again and along with this comes my favourite shot of the season so far in terms of an action image. With two players scoring their first for the club 10 days earlier, it was time for another Fleetwood player to bag his and what a header it was. You have to take your chances when on top in the match, and Grayson's men did exactly that - below is the frame of Callum Johnson scoring against Crewe.

"Back of the net!" is exactly what legendary sports broadcaster Alan Partridge (Steve Coogan) would have bellowed down the microphone when the ball powerfully hit the back netting. The scenes and emotion around Highbury were unbelievable, and that goal really gave the hosts the impetus to go on and take the game to Crewe - who didn't know what hit them after going one down.


Free-kick specialist Danny Andrews scored yet again from a set-piece (and yes there's more to come in this blog) with striker Ged Garner bagging late in injury time to seal a big three points for the Cod Army. I was slightly annoyed with myself (despite getting the Johnson header) as I switched side of the goal to get the Parkside Stand in the background of my photos. Some will say that decision paid off, but the main celebrations went into the opposite corner. I guess you win some and you lose some in this industry.

It was another home game for Town before their second longest away trip of the season to Portman Road to face inform Ipswich Town. Burton were the visitors to the Gold Coast - a side who will be back at Fleetwood on Saturday 6 November for the Emirates FA Cup First Round cup tie. Burton took all three points that Tuesday night, and I think the less said the better on that one.


Where do I start with Ipswich away? This is where I started my "Behind the Scenes" Instagram story feed - which went down really well with my followers on SLF Studios. By going down the night before the game, I was able to relax a little more and on the morning of the match I woke up early and walked the 250 yard to Portman Road to take pictures outside the stadium, which is one thing I don't get to do much of due to arrival times on day trips. I covered this on my vlog - which can be find HERE on my Instagram highlights.

Sir Alfred Ramsey - the only manager of the England Football National Team to win the World Cup - which happened back in 1966 when England last hosted the competition. Sir Alfred Ramsey managed Ipswich Town between 1955-1963 before taking the role as England manager. He sadly passed away in Suffolk in April 1999.

Call it last minute heartbreak for sure. After a hard fought performance from the visitors, it was a late goal from Bersant Celina which gave the Tractor Boys all three points on home soil. They were made to work for the point as with going a goal up, it was Fleetwood who went on the front foot and fully deserved their equalising goal. Callum Morton - who gave the Ipswich backline a torrid time with his endless running and movement, headed home from a few yards after Paddy Lane's beautifully weighted cross found the former Lincoln City loanee's head.


After that moment, you felt the tide change and I honestly felt Grayson's men were going to go on and win the game... But I was wrong that goal from Celina broke the travelling fans hearts. Here's a shoutout to the Cod Army fans who made that long trip to Suffolk to support their team! Keep up the noise at home and away, you're doing the club proud!

Onto the final match of October 2021. In a six-goal thriller (pardon the Halloween pun there) at Highbury, Fleetwood fought back from 3-1 down to salvage a point against high-flying Wycombe Wanderers. In the PRiME Media Images derby match, both myself and co-owner David Horn managed to get some fantastic celebration and match action shots in bright sunshine, rain, hail and wind.


Fleetwood took the lead in this match thanks to a Danny Andrew goal - and surprise surprise, it wasn't one of his trademark free-kicks. His right footed strike found the back of Stockdale's goal and got the atmosphere going inside the ground. Fair play to Gareth Ainsworth and his side, they dug deep and managed to score 3 goals to make it 3-1 inside the second half.


Simon Grayson made changes midway through the last 45 minute and my god did those players make an impact. Summer signing Joe Garner - former Preston and Glasgow Rangers forward - headed home to make it 2-3 with half an hour to go on the clock, and then it was left for Shayden Morris - who had been sidelined for a good 6-8 weeks to drive past the Wycombe defence and slot the ball home. Here is the moment Morris made it three a piece!


Fantastic scenes around the stadium. No more than what the Cod Army deserved for their performance. Could they have had a penalty Fleetwood late in the game? Morris was through and I think the Wycombe defender gets the ball first before leaning on the young forward. Many around the ground thought it was a nailed on penalty. Let me know what you think - here is the key moment.

Penalty or no penalty? Guess we will never know!


I know this has been a long blog and I appreciate you getting to this stage and sticking with the story of October. I know I got busy with a few things during the international break and then a midweek trip to Burnley for their Carabao Cup tie against Tottenham Hotspur - who today have sacked their Head Coach Nuno Espírito Santo after a 3-0 home defeat to Manchester United. I will look to write a blog on these two events very shortly.


Thank you for reading. Here's to November and another month of games, goals and celebrations!


WHAT CAMERA GEAR DO I USE FOR MY SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY


Throughout this month, I was using my Canon EOS 1DX Mark One camera body with the Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8 L IS II USM lens, along side my new Canon EOS 5D MKIII with the Canon EF 300mm f2.8 L IS USM lens. I take my stadium shots and wider angle frames on either camera body, using the Canon EF 24-105mm f4 lens. If you would like to see what I use, please click on the links. If you'd like to know more on my camera set-up, please leave me message or find me on social media. Thank you!


Sam Fielding / SLF-Studios

Photos are owned by PRiME Media Images

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