About Me

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Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom
I am a Northern League supporter without a club to favour and double as a sometime genealogist who has researched his family tree back to the early 1600's, compiling a file of individual relatives totalling just over 3,000 names. I have been happily married to Maureen for 49 years. We have 1 son, 3 daughters, 14 grandchildren, 2 great-grandchildren, and absolutely no money!

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Norton & Stockton Ancients 4-1 Whickham

Northern League Division 2
My first choice for today had been to take another look at Whitehaven Amateurs at Sunderland Ryhope CA. Meadow Park was declared unplayable early in the day, obviously to save the visitors a needless journey, so I tootled off down the A19 to Norton on Tees. Norton now boasts a new 160 seater stand - very impressive, too. A pint of John Smith's Smooth went down well in the Sports Centre bar before kick-off.

The game kicked off in perfect conditions on a very good playing surface and a tough midfield battle commenced. It took until the 10th minute for the first shot of the game, when Michael Dunwell floated a shot over the crossbar after a flick-on from Gary Mitchell. Norton began to take a stranglehold on the match and looked very organised across the park. David Hillerby was next to go close when a goalmouth scramble allowed the ball to run clear. The youngster could only smash his shot just wide of the mark. On 22 minutes, a hopeful pass forward was chased down by M. Dunwell causing a mix up at the back. The ball ran free for MITCHELL to take one touch before stroking the ball into an empty net. Whickham fought well, but were unable to break down a well ordered Norton rearguard. On 38 minutes, Nathan Mulligan ran into space on the left. He received a good pass from Marcus Laing but his touch took him a little wide and he could only manage to screw his shot the wrong side of the upright. It was 2-0 on 40 minutes, when MITCHELL doubled his tally. Veteran midfielder cum defender Richard Gaston, jinking and turning then playing an inch-perfect pass to put the striker clear on goal. Mitchell made no mistake with a great finish on the half-volley.Whickham created their first real chance in the last minute of the half when some hard graft got them behind the Ancients defence. A dive from Ian Robson tried to win a penalty but the referee gave a free-kick just outside the box for an earlier foul by Chris Dunwell. The kick was taken well and was heading for the top right-hand corner, but James Briggs pulled off a good save, tipping it over the bar. The resulting corner was cleared and the home side had a great chance to counter attack. N. Mulligan tried to put M. Dunwell through on goal but the linesman pulled it back for offside.

Half time: 2-0

Whickham started the second half a lot more brightly and looked to stretch Norton. Good work at the back though, from C. Dunwell and James Middleton, kept them at bay.The first chance of the second period fell to Alan Cossavella on 55 minutes. A good corner floated in by Hillerby was met at the back post by the midfielder, but he could only head just wide. Two minutes later, Hillerby went close himself as he wriggled clear of the defence only to shoot just wide. Whickham then upped their game and mounted a good spell of pressure. On 70 minutes, a fierce shot through a crowded penalty area was well held by Briggs and few minutes later, a curling effort was parried by the Norton goalkeeper. On 76 minutes Harrison Davies was introduced to the action replacing Nathan Mulligan. The change was to have an immediate effect when from the next attack MITCHELL completed an excellent hat-trick. A chipped ball over the central defenders bounced up, and the quick-thinking hit man stuck out a leg, beating the goalkeeper to the ball. Mitchell jumped to his feet and tucked the ball into the empty net. 5 minutes later it was four when substitute RICHARD WALKER ran onto a Mitchell pass, and slipped the ball under the advancing Stephen Robinson. In the last minute of injury time, Whickham got the consolation maybe their hardwork deserved when DAVID FAIRLESS created some space on the left to shoot. Briggs got a hand to it but the ball trickled over the line.

Norton: James Briggs, Richard Gaston (David Alderson), Richard Dacombe, Chris Dunwell, James Middleton, Marcus Laing, David Hillerby, Alan Cossavella, Michael Dunwell (Richard Walker), Gary Mitchell, Nathan Mulligan (Harrison Davies). Unused subs Dale Mulligan, Daniel Fowler.
Whickham: Stephen Robinson, Craig Cowell (Josh Watson), Paul McQuillan (Graeme Jackson), Gary Andison, Adam McLane, Paul Cavanagh, Chris Douglas, Anthony Dowson, David Fairless, Ian Robson (Mark Heron), Andrew Wilson. Unused subs Peter Adnitt, Daniel Henderson.

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