Introduction to the blog...

Hi, my name's Toby Wildgoose. I'm a 20 year old boy who's obsessed by sport, so much so that I am looking to become a sports journalist/media officer in later life.

I've set up this blog not only so that I can improve and refine my writing skills, but also to provide a platform for potential employers to view my work.

I have already developed a small portfolio of my work, with my experience in the industry including: written match reports for junior football teams, published work at numerous EFL clubs in a variety of formats, and work experience placements at Chesterfield FC and Rotherham United Community Sports Trust - to see my full portfolio click here: http://goo.gl/VWws3H.

I hope to post as often as possible on this blog about anything that is sport related. Please find the time to read any of my posts.

Any comments or suggestions on how I can improve the blog would be greatly appreciated, and I would also be happy to receive any other suggestions for work experience. Please comment on here, email me (tobywildgoose@gmail.com), or even tweet me (@TobyWildgoose). Cheers!

Start Date: 11/12/12

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Gallery: Harrogate Railway Athletic 1-6 Pontefract Collieries

Last weekend, I decided to attend the NCEL Premier Division fixture between Harrogate Railway Athletic and Pontefract Collieries at Station View. I also chose to take my camera along to the game as this allowed me to practice my sports photography.

During the game, I encountered a number of problems which made it difficult for me to capture the images I desired. A large shadow was the major issue as it draped itself over most of the pitch and therefore cast the players into shade. Getting down to pitch level was also a problem as the terracing behind the goal was slightly raised, meaning that more grass made it into the shots than I would have preferred. Unfortunately, my camera is nowhere near the level of a professional photographers' and so, after the sun had set, I could no longer continue to shoot. 

Despite this, I have a small selection of photos that I'm quite pleased with: 

The high-paced tempo of the game is set early on.

This soon results in Pontefract open the scoring after just seven minutes (0-1).

The Pontefract players celebrate their opening goal (0-1).

Ponte double the lead with a long-range effort (0-2).

The Harrogate players appear dejected as Pontefract celebrate their second goal (0-2).

A scramble in the box sees Harrogate Railway clear their lines from a corner.

 Harrogate's No. 10 is given a talking to by the referee.

The Colls' players celebrate their third goal of the afternoon... (0-3).

...And are soon joined by more of their team mates (0-3).

 Pontefract look to further extend their lead.

Another attack soon follows.

A Pontefract player looks to keep the ball in play...

...But a Harrogate defender sees out the danger.

It was unfortunately at this point where the limitations of my camera (and lens) meant that conditions became too dark to shoot in, and so I decided to put my camera away.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Leicester City: Is the Foxes' current position really that surprising?

After last weekend’s round of Premier League fixtures, one question remains on everybody’s lips: ‘will Leicester City have been relegated come the end of the season?’

The Foxes could become the first defending champions of England to be relegated from the top flight since 1938, when Manchester City dropped into the second tier just a year after securing the title.

Despite the rarity of this occurrence, its possibility has become an increasingly likely reality for Leicester after they lost their fifth consecutive Premier League game on Sunday – a 2-0 defeat away to Swansea. The result leaves the champions sitting precariously in 17th position, with just one place and one point separating them from the relegation zone.

Throughout the previous week, even before Sunday’s loss, discussion amongst journalists, and pundits alike, was rife regarding the cause of Leicester’s rather dramatic fall from grace. A multitude of factors have been cited as a cause of this, including Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez’s struggle for form, as well as the sale of N’Golo Kante to Chelsea in the summer for around £30 million.

Struggling for form: Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez

Ultimately, several factors have been deemed accountable for Leicester’s current plight, and whilst there is undoubtedly a stark contrast between this season and last for the Midlands club, I fail to see why this has come as a surprise to so many.

Let us not forget that this is only the club’s third season back in the Premier League following their promotion from the Championship in 2014, and that for much of their first season back in 'the big time' they sat rock bottom of the table, with only a miraculous run of games ensuring their safety.

Not only this, but such a dip in form is not exactly a distant memory for Premier League fans. Just last season we saw the reigning champions Chelsea drop as low as 17th place in the table, despite retaining a squad that was considerably stronger than Leicester’s is now. This squad included the likes of PFA Player of the Year Eden Hazard, 20-goal Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas (18 assists), and Thibaut Courtois, who secured an impressive 12 clean sheets.

If that Chelsea team could suffer such a dip in form, then surely it can’t be so shocking to see Leicester, a side who sat bottom of the Premier League just two seasons ago, suffer a relatively similar slump?

Before the current season had even begun, many speculated as to what impact the added commitment of Champions League football would have on the title winners, with some suggesting that the extra games would take a heavy toll on the squad.

Statistics now show that the fixtures have indeed had an impact, with Leicester not picking up a single win in Premier League games that have preceded a Group G match in the Champions League – losing five and drawing just one.

As many journalists and fans have already suggested, last season’s title winning campaign was a one-off. A fluke, Something that will never again be repeated.

If we therefore take this exceptional year out of the equation, and consider that it was only the season before last that the Foxes were involved a relegation battle, it really should come as no surprise that we are seeing a repeat situation this time around. Add in the loss of N’Golo Kante, as well as the added commitment of Champions League football to the equation, and Leicester’s current league position becomes ever less surprising.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Gabriel Jesus: Star in the making?

When Manchester City signed Gabriel Jesus in the January transfer window for £27 million, I doubt too many fans would have expected the 19-year-old to hit the ground running in quite the immediate manner he has done.

Whilst the Brazilian forward came to England with an already impressive CV under his belt, as well as a growing reputation, his signing was mostly billed as ‘one for the future’ with City already having the services of Sergio Aguero, Nolito and Kelechi Iheanacho at their disposal.

Despite this, Jesus has quickly found his way into the Manchester club’s starting-XI; netting a notable three goals, and contributing a further two assists, in just four appearances for his new side.

A record such as this was bound to draw attention to the player as it was, but with Sunday’s performance against Swansea proving to be a match winning one, Jesus’ name will only be thrust further into the headlines. What I want to ask though is whether we’re at risk of getting carried away in our praise of the young man’s form? 

Gabriel Jesus

For any forward, it is generally a given that three goals in their first four games would be considered a good return. In Jesus' case, however, it should not be forgotten that two of his three goals so far have come against a Swansea side which has conceded a divisional high 54 goals in 24 games - an average of over two goals per match. Not only this, but the striker's first goal for the club came against a West Ham side who have leaked 12 goals in just three games against City this season.

A case can also be made to suggest that Jesus’ match winning goal against Swansea was somewhat fortuitous as before eventually scoring, the Brazilian forward squandered a great chance to secure the points; placing a tame header at the gloves of Lukasz Fabianski. Luckily for the number 33 though, the Swans’ goalkeeper was unable to keep hold of the ball and Jesus was gifted with a second opportunity to finish; a chance which he duly took.

Despite the clear element of luck to this goal, there is an argument to be made that you’ve got to be in the right place at the right time to score, and that regardless of the opposition it was still Jesus’ two goals that earnt City an invaluable three points on Sunday.

Moments of brilliance have also been apparent in his appearances so far. A stunning assist in the FA Cup fourth round against Crystal Palace particularly stands out, and another brilliant assist would have followed in the Premier League had David Silva converted the Brazilian's back heeled flick into a goal.

As well as this, pundits have also been quick to praise the youngster’s visible confidence on the ball, specifically singling out his athleticism and intelligent forward thinking. Whilst these are all great traits to have, is it not a bit early to be giving a 19-year-old such high praise?

Obviously, a footballer cannot make his name in just four games, and with Jesus being so new to the Premier League it’ll be hard to truly gauge his potential until he secures a prolonged spell in the City team. The youngster has certainly made some impact already though, and I for one very much look forward to seeing the development of Gabriel Jesus as a Manchester City player.

Monday, 31 March 2014

Match report: Rotherham United 2-1 Bristol City

On Saturday 29th March, I went to the New York Stadium to see Rotherham United take on Bristol City in SkyBet League One. For this game I played mentor to a number of Y9 students from Wales High School who had been taking part on a sports journalism course with the Rotherham United Community Sports Trust.

On the day, it was my responsibility to make sure that the students were not only making detailed notes on the game, but also that they had challenging questions to ask some of the players after full-time. Then, at half-time, I got the chance to write up a match report on the G4S Trophy final – this will be printed in the programme at a later date.

After the game I also had to chance to interview a number of the players. This was something I had been planning for as I was yet to interview a player after a match.

I was personally looking forward to the fixture as both sides came into the game on long unbeaten runs and in good form - Rotherham 14 without loss and Bristol City six without tasting defeat. A win for the Millers would see them keep up their automatic promotion push, whereas a win for the Robins would push them further away from the League One relegation zone. 
Match report below:



Rotherham United moved to within one point of third-placed Leyton Orient after defeating Bristol City in a hard-fought encounter at the New York Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Two stunning goals from James Tavernier either side of half-time secured the Millers all three points after Wade Elliott had equalised for the travellers at the start of the second-half.

Ahead of the game, Steve Evans chose to stick with the same side that had comfortably seen off promotion rivals Brentford on Tuesday night by three-goals-to-nil. This meant that Nicky Adams again kept his place in the starting line-up after impressive performances against Peterborough United and the Bees.

Wes Thomas, however, missed out on a place on the bench as a troublesome thigh injury kept the ex-Bournemouth striker out for the third game in a row.

The Robins made just one change to the starting-XI that had seen off Port Vale 5-0 on Tuesday night, with winger Marlon Pack dropping to the bench for Simon Gillett, who returned after being rested in midweek. Adam El-Abd also returned to the squad and took his spot on the bench replacing Liam Kelly.


The game started in the best possible fashion for the Millers, and after just two minutes they took the lead through full-back James Tavernier.

A free-kick was awarded to Rotherham after winger Nicky Adams made a brilliant run down the right of the pitch before drawing a foul out of City defender Greg Cunningham. Ben Pringle played a curling ball into the box which was headed clear by Nyron Nosworthy, but only as far as Millers midfielder Richard Smallwood. The Middlesbrough-loanee then played a pass into the path of Tavernier who took a touch before firing a powerful, right footed shot past the outstretched arms of Frank Fielding and into the back of the net.

Minutes later, Adams was again involved as he played a low ball into the centre of the Bristol City box. The cross fell kindly to forward Alex Revell, who turned and shot towards goal, but his effort was comfortably blocked and the danger was cleared.

The Millers continued to push for a second goal, and moments later Kieran Agard had a chance of his own to double the advantage. Ex-Crawley man Adams again pushed down the right before playing a dangerous ball into the box, this was met by top scorer Agard, but his header sailed agonisingly wide of the target.

The Robins’ first real chance of note came in the 27th minute, when Cunningham pushed forwards towards the Millers’ back line and took on a shot from distance. Despite the defender’s best efforts, the right footed effort comfortably flew high and wide of the target.

With half an hour gone, Rotherham were looking the more dominant side and really should have doubled their lead through Smallwood in the 31st minute. Again, Agard picked up the ball on the edge of the box before picking out Smallwood who scuffed a tame shot wide of the right post, much to the agony of the home crowd.

As time went on, the Millers only continued to push forward and Agard again came close to adding to his tally for the season when winger Pringle played a dangerous through ball across the Robins’ back line. Top scorer Agard charged past the defence but saw his left footed shot fire just wide of the goal and into the sponsor boards.

The first yellow card of the game came in the 39th minute, and the booking went the away side’s way. Revell’s clever turn proved too much for defender Cunningham to handle, as he hacked down the Millers’ front man from behind, leaving the referee with no choice but to award the first yellow of the match.

Despite the majority of play falling to the Millers, the half ended with a chance for the visitors.

Martin Paterson collected the ball on the edge of the box, with both time and space to pick his spot. His left footed shot from outside the box went close, but fired wide to the left of the goal, leaving the Robins trailing by a goal to nil at the interval.


Half-time: Rotherham United 1-0 Bristol City

The second-half started much where the first had left off and this was with a Bristol City chance, which this time around would not be squandered.

In the 48th minute, Wade Elliott picked up the ball in the middle of the park, and despite having little room to manoeuvre, he turned and ran at the Millers’ defence. The veteran midfielder then unleashed a powerful right footed shot, and despite Smallwood’s best efforts to block, the ball flew past Adam Collin and into the back of the Rotherham goal.

The equaliser didn’t faze the Millers though, and just minutes later Adams was again involved as he played a ball across the box to Lee Frecklington, who took on a left footed shot from just outside the area. The effort was a powerful one, but the ball flew past the post and the scores stayed level.

It didn’t take much longer for the Millers to go back in front though, and in the 59th minute the away side conceded a free-kick when Robins’ goalkeeper Fielding handled the ball outside the 18-yard box in an attempt to hurry a clearance.

Man-of-the-match Tavernier menacingly stood over the set piece, and sure enough the Newcastle loanee fired a powerful shot into the top right corner of the City goal, making sure the visitors paid heavily for their mistake.

The second booking of the game also went in the direction of the away side as Simon Gillett unfairly brought down Agard as he charged towards the visitors’ goal. Tavernier again took the free-kick, but this time played a curling ball into the Robins’ box, which saw the City defence clear for a corner. A cross was played in by Pringle, but the danger was cleared.

The Millers continued to push for a third goal and just minutes later a corner was conceded by Nosworthy after continued pressure down the left. Pringle played in the ball which Agard headed towards goal only for Fielding to palm into the path of Smallwood, who somehow saw his and Adams’ efforts blocked by a resolute Robins’ defence.

As time went on, chances of note came few and far between and in an effort to salvage something from the game, Steve Cotterill made a triple substitution in the 83rd minute bringing on Marlon Pack, Tyrone Barnett and Adam El-Abd.

The changes proved to make an impact, and both Derrick Williams and Karleigh Osborne went close with long range efforts towards the Millers’ goal. Collin held strong though, and Rotherham claimed a huge three points in the fight for automatic promotion.


Full-time: Rotherham United 2-1 Bristol City


After the game Joe Skarz commented on the match, saying: “It was a great victory. Performance wise first-half, I think we were really good. In the second-half they came at us, but it’s all about winning at this stage of the season and we’re delighted to take the three points”.


Lee Frecklington also said: “I think we started the game really well. In the first-half, we played some good football and we managed to go in front with a wonder strike from Tavs (Tavernier), and even though we conceded early in the second, I knew we’d get back in the game and take all three points”.


Rotherham: Collin, Tavernier, Arnason, Morgan, Skarz, Adams (Milsom 88), Smallwood, Frecklington, Pringle (Vuckic 80), Revell (Davis 89), Agard

Unused: Shearer, O’Connor, Addison, Hitchcock


Bristol: Fielding, Williams, Osborne, Cunningham (El-Abd 83), Wagstaff, Elliott, Baldock, Emmanual-Thomas (Pack 83), Gillett, Nosworthy, Paterson (Barnett 83)

Unused: Richards, Moloney, Pearson, Burns




Attendance: 8607 (743)

Programme and ticket.

My pass for the day.

Interviewing Wes Thomas.

The group in the tunnel.

The group interviewing Scott Shearer.

Me interviewing Lee Frecklington.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Match report: Chesterfield 0-0 Portsmouth

On Monday 3rd March 2014, I was invited down to the Proact Stadium press box to report on Chesterfield vs Portsmouth in SkyBet League Two.

I was invited down to the ground following my one week work experience at the club and also got the chance to write up a match report at the game. I got to shadow Nick in the press box, and this was the second time that I have got to sit in the media area at a Football League game. 

I arrived at the stadium for around 17:30 so that I had chance to prepare my research for the game and set out the basis of my report. This took around an hour and a half and I was sat in place in the press box by 19:40. 


Chesterfield missed the opportunity to go four points clear at the top of the League 2 table following a 0-0 draw with Portsmouth in front of the Sky cameras at the Proact Stadium.

In a hard fought match, both sides struggled to take a controlling hand as the game threw up few chances of note.

Ahead of the game, Spireites boss Paul Cook rewarded the side that comfortably beat Cheltenham Town 4-1 on Tuesday night by sticking with the same starting-XI to face Portsmouth.

Drew Talbot did not feature in the Spireites’ team though, as an abductor injury again kept him out of the match day squad.  

After a scrappy opening five minutes, where neither side took a hold of the game, the first real chance fell to the visitors.

The opportunity came when a dangerous ball was played in from the left, which Pompey forward Ricky Holmes subsequently flicked towards the Chesterfield goal. The effort seemingly caught Tommy Lee off guard, but the Spireites’ ‘keeper kept hold of the ball to ensure the scores stayed level.

Moments later, the visitors again came close to taking the lead. This time, Pompey forward Jake Jervis broke free of the Chesterfield defence before pushing his way into the 18-yard-box. The striker then fired a powerful shot towards Lee’s goal, but the effort bounced back off the upright and the danger was soon cleared, much to the relief of the Spireites faithful.

In the 16th minute, Chesterfield won a free-kick in a dangerous position after Ollie Banks was forced to ground by Pompey midfielder Toumani Diagouraga. Gary Roberts’ curling free-kick was just too high for Liam Cooper though, and the defender’s glancing effort sailed harmlessly away from danger.

Minutes later, the visitors won a free-kick of their own after Ricky Holmes drew a foul from Spireites midfielder Tendayi Darikwa. The set piece was then cleverly played to Nicky Shorey by Holmes, but the Portsmouth defender’s effort was blocked and the danger was soon cleared by the Chesterfield defence. 

As the clock ticked on, Chesterfield grew further into the game and a number of chances soon fell for a collection of Spireites players. 

The first opportunity fell to Banks in the 25th minute when the ball landed fortunately for the ex-Rotherham midfielder at some distance from the target. The 21-year-old then fired a long range effort towards the Portsmouth goal, but Pompey ‘keeper Carson was equal to the effort.

Chances then followed for both Banks and Jimmy Ryan, before Roberts tried his luck with an audacious chip from just outside the area. Carson was equal to the chances though and the Pompey defence held strong.

In the 38th minute, Chesterfield again won a free-kick in a dangerous position when Ben Chorley accidentally handled the ball. Roberts and Dan Gardner both stood over the set piece, before Gardner fired a powerful, low effort just past the Portsmouth upright.

The Spireites then had one last chance to score before half-time, but Doyle’s curling corner was collected well by Pompey ‘keeper Carson and the sides went into the break all square.


Half-time: Chesterfield 0-0 Portsmouth 

Chesterfield began the second-half much as they had ended the first, and came close to opening the scoring through a Roberts’ effort in the 47th minute. The 29-year-old midfielder’s left-footed shot fired just wide of the post though, and the scores remained level.

The first Portsmouth chance of the second-half came in the 59th minute, as Jervis again broke down the right wing before dragging a low, right-footed effort just wide of Lee’s goal.

Wes Fogden then came close to opening the scoring just minutes later when he fantastically controlled a lofted through-ball, before toe-poking a close-range shot towards goal. Lee was equal to the effort though and he brilliantly saved to keep Chesterfield level.

The first yellow card of the game went the Spireites’ way in the 70th minute, when Sam Morsy caught Roman Padovani late, leaving the referee with no choice but to book the Chesterfield midfielder.

Spireites boss Paul Cook then made two changes to his side, bringing on both Marc Richards and Jay O’Shea for Banks and Gardner.

However, it was Portsmouth who looked the most likely to score after the substitutions, and in the 77th minute, Jervis again came close to scoring after some excellent build up play from Fogden and Jed Wallace. The forward’s effort was a tame one though, and it rolled comfortably past the far post.

As the final whistle approached, Chesterfield went in search of the elusive winning goal, and with just minutes remaining a corner was won after Joe Devera deflected the ball behind. The corner was easily cleared by the Portsmouth back line, but the Spireites continued to push forward.

The final chance of the game fell to Richards midway through added time. The striker connected well with a Roberts’ cross from the right hand side of the pitch, but the header was straight at the ‘keeper and Carson held on well to earn Pompey a share of the spoils.


Full-time: Chesterfield 0-0 Portsmouth 


Chesterfield: Lee, Darikwa, Evatt, Cooper, Humphreys, Morsy, Ryan, Gardner (O’Shea 75), Banks (Richards 71), Roberts, Doyle (Gnanduillet 81)

Unused: Dunbavin, Smith, Hird, Togwell


Portsmouth: Carson, N'Gala, Padovani, Holmes, Shorey, Fogden, Chorley, Diagouraga, Jervis (Agyemang 90), Wallace, Devera

Unused: Smith, Ertl, Painter, Bradley, Harris, Racon




Attendance: 5807 (547)


The programme.

Teamsheet.

Chesterfield vs Portsmouth - the game was shown live on Sky Sports

The tunnel.

'Home Changing'.

My view from the press box in the Main Stand.

Looking towards the Rubicon Print Stand, which held 547 Portsmouth supporters.

The Spencers Solicitors Community Stand

The Karen Child Stand.

Full-time: Chesterfield 0-0 Portsmouth