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!

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Sunderland Nissan 3-1 Whitley Bay

Wednesday 29 October 2008
Northern League Division 1
Nissan Sports Complex,

I asked posters to the Northern League Form on www.Nonleaguezone.com to take part in a poll to help me decide between this game and Billingham Synthonia v Morpeth. This fixture won 65% of the votes so off to the Nissan Sports Complex I toddled.
The following match report comes courtesy of the Whitley Bay Official web site:
Nissan are always a tough side to beat and with former Bay stalwart Brian Rowe at the heart of their defence, Whitley knew they had a battle on their hands. Both Terry Burke and Mark Taylor were missing from the Bay side, but Darren Timmons was back in the team after illness. On a cold evening Whitley started well, and with just four minutes played, Leon Ryan fired a shot inches over the bar from Paul Robinson’s corner. Damon Robson then crossed to the far post and found Craig McFarlane, who mishit his shot and failed to trouble Nissan keeper Paul Newton.
Having been on top during the opening 15 minutes, Whitley were pushed back as the home side got into gear. Hodgson produced a good shot which Tom Kindley, deputising for the unavailable Terry Burke, saved low down.
Just past the half hour, Paul Robinson shot over the bar after receiving the ball from a Picton header. A fairly even half ended all square with neither side having managed to break through.
Things changed after the interval though, with Whitley going close straight from the whistle when Chow was just short of connecting with a low cross from Moore two yards from goal. A minute later play swung to the other end and when the ball was cleared only as far as Nissan’s Andrew Thompson, he took full advantage sending a great shot into the top corner of the net, giving Kindley no chance at all. Kindley then saved at the feet of substitute Stuart Banks and with the game really opening up, Chris Moore wasted a good opportunity to level the score when he hit a hurried shot wide after latching on to a long ball out of defence. Whitley kept pushing forward and when they won a corner, Robinson’s ball into the goalmouth saw Davison clear off the line from Ryan, before Newton saved Picton’s effort. The ball finally rebounded to David Coulson who drove it into the net from six yards to level the score at 1-1.
Nissan looked dangerous whenever they attacked, thanks in part to the speed of their attacks and in particular the pace of Joshua Gillies. With 20 minutes left, Richard Hodgson put Nissan back in front after a well worked move cut through the Whitley defence. Seven minutes later Josh Gillies got the third goal which effectively made the game safe for Nissan. Kindley had done well to block Gillies' first effort after he broke clear on goal, but could do nothing to prevent the 18 year old slotting home the rebound.
Substitutions in the closing stages made little difference and although both Chow and Coulson went close late on, Nissan looked a stronger unit, especially in defence and deservedly collected all three points, while Whitley and their fans were left to reflect on another disappointing defeat.

Sunderland Nissan: Paul Newton, Kallum Griffiths, Ian Davison, Andrew Thompson, Brian Rowe, Richard Flynn, Anthony Chapman (Neil Tarrant), Gary Pearson, Paul Robinson (Stuart Banks), Richard Hodgson, Josh Gillies
Whitley Bay: Thomas Kindley, Darren Timmons, Lee Picton, Craig McFarlane, David Coulson, Leon Ryan (Bruce Hogg), Chris Moore, Damon Robson, Lee Kerr (Andrew Hay), Paul Chow, Paul Robinson (Darren Reay)

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Seaham Red Star 0-2 Northallerton Town

Northern League Division 1
Seaham Town Park.

As I had not been to Seaham for a couple of seasons and some of the Northallerton supporters are friends of mine, this was my choice for the day. Red Star as a club has undergone a lot of changes this term, following the withdrawal of the main sponsor and changes in the administration and management set-up. The old club has been closed, probably for ever and Red Star now share clubhouse facilities with their next-door neighbours Seaham Park Cricket Club, where I enjoyed a couple of pre-match pints of John Smith's Smooth. Amazingly, the front cover of the poor quality programme carries a photograph of me old mate, John Toft, who has not played for Seaham for some two seasons, Tofty now plies his trade at Durham City, in the Unibond North division!
Glad to say that the playing surface is still as good as ever, though - the grass was about the best thing on the pitch, on the day. The first half was pretty much a non-event, the only action worth mentioning being a save by Town's goalkeeper, new signing Jody Barford, and even that had an element of of luck about it.
Half-time 0-0 and my pie also merits a mention, very tasty!
The second half saw some spells of decent football. Town got the ball down and passed it about a bit, while Seaham huffed and puffed a lot without causing too much panic in the Northallerton defence. A well-taken goal by my Man Of The Match, Steve Roberts and a slightly lucky chip by Scott McNichol, which crept in just under the bar, earned Northallerton the points.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Consett 5-2 Ryton

Northern League Division 1
Belle Vue, Ashdale Road, Consett.

Consett were on the rebound from two consecutive losses to teams lower down the league, while Ryton were expected to be on a high following their 10-1 thrashing of Guisborough Town in the FA Vase, so this game looked promising.
Consett Manager Kenny Lindoe favours a 3-5-2 formation and they were straight into the attack and had much the better of the first 10 minutes, during which a Jonjo Dickman shot went just wide, while Ryton's only attack of note resulted in a free kick just outside the box which Marc Walton sent just over the crossbar. In the 15th. minute, prolific striker Mattie Moffat beat Graham Liddle to a through ball, turned and shot to put the home side ahead. 1-0
Just a minute later, Carl Piecha, unmarked at the far post, rose to meet a right wing corner kick from Gary Ormston, giving Ben Starford no chance. 2-0
Ryton's Starford was was the busier of the two goalkeepers and a shot from defender Mark Gaffney brought out a great save from him in the 20th. minute. Two minutes later, Moffat did well to hold the ball up before laying it off for Andy Cuthbertson, who blasted it into the goal with his left foot. 3-0
Ryton came more into the game after this, but made no inroads until Steve Jones was upended in the penalty area in time added on at the end of the first half. Marc Walton doesn't normally miss from the spot and this opportunity was no different. Half time 3-1
Ryton began the second half as they had finished the first and 5 minutes in, Steve Shaw sent a lovely ball forward and Jones running from deep, controlled well before facing James Platten in a 1-on-1 and side-footed into the net. 3-2 and game on!
This goal re-awakened Consett, who began to take control again. In the 58th. minute, following another strong attack, the ball fell to Piecha, just inside the box, who had time to pick his spot before hitting a hard left foot shot past Starford. 4-2
Two minutes later, Liddle was adjudged to have handled a Steve Johnson shot and Piecha claimed the right to go for his hat-trick. His shot was not the best however and Starford was able to block it and Jones cleared for a corner kick. A rare Ryton attack in the 63rd. minute resulted in Liddle meeting an Andrew Dobby free kick with his head, but only managing to send the ball against the crossbar. On 80, Moffat, a constant threat to Ryton, was fouled by Ryan Bell, about 25 yards out. Dickman curled his free-kick into the area and Starford, normally very safe in that situation seemed to fumble it and it went into the net over his body. 5-2
Starford redeemed himself somewhat 2 minutes later, making a fine save from Johnson. There followed even more attacks by Consett and in the last 5 minutes, 3 or 4 shots were either saved or blocked on the line. This was a great game for a neutral like me!

Consett: James Platten, Karl Baston, Mark Gaffney, Jonjo Dickman, Carl Piecha, David Pounder (John Clark), Chris Scott (Carl Heiniger), Andrew Cuthbertson (Craig Robson), Mattie Moffat, Steven Johnson, Gary Ormston.
Unused substitutes Paul Curry, Adam Emson.
Ryton: Ben Starford, Ryan Bell, Carl Paterson, Steven Jones, John Parker, Graham Liddle, Dale Burrell, Steven Shaw, Marc Walton, Glenn Reay (Liam McBryde), Andrew Dobby.
Unused substitutes Gareth McKenna, Ross Preston, Craig Marron.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Sunderland Ryhope C.A. 1-2 Marske United

Meadow Park, Ryhope, Sunderland.
FA Vase 1st. Round Proper.

Being the new owner of a concessionary bus pass, I have chosen a fixture which is in easy reach of my home, using public transport. Meadow Park entails a 5 minutes' walk, a 20 minutes' bus ride, followed by another 5 minutes' walk. I was very tempted to take in either Esh Winning v Scarborough Athletic or Guisborough Town v Ryton in the same competition, but, I have vowed to reduce my expenditure and use my pass, so the choice was narrowed down to this fixture or Sunderland Nissan v Morpeth Town, also in the Vase. As I didn't want to be the "only" person in the ground (Nissan and Morpeth have very few supporters!) Meadow Park took the vote.

The Marske United supporters were determined to make a day of it! They were transported to Ryhope on a bus subsidised by CarCraft of Marske and had an enjoyable pre-match meal and drinks at The Village Tavern before coming on to Meadow Park. By then they were in fine voice, occupying one half of the Ray Baines Stand.

Marske United supporters in full voice
(Photograph courtesy of Moss Holtby, Marske United's awarding-winning programme editor)

Marske began the game kicking down bank with the wind and heavy rain at their backs. They took the game straight to RCA and made it obvious that nothing less than a victory would be good enough. After 28 minutes their many attacks at last paid off when a free kick was awarded on the left corner of the penalty area and Andy Swalwell sent his left foot shot past Craig Shields. Marske striker Craig Skelton later claimed that he got a touch on the ball before it went into the net, but I was at the other end of the pitch and can't comment - cue the Dubious Goals Panel! 0-1
Four minutes later, former RCA left winger Jonathan Newton carried the ball in from the left, along the byeline, beating a couple of RCA defenders before sending the ball across the front of goal, where, as yet untouched, it found Derek Bradley who only needed to side foot it into the goal. 0-2
At half-time, RCA manager Neil Hixon sent on midfielder Gary Shields to replace right-back Patrick Little and Shields soon began to form an understanding with one of my long-time favourite players - Steven (Buddy) Halliday, formerly of Hartlepool United, Carlisle United, Durham City, Sunderland Nissan and Seaham Red Star - in a 3-5-2 formation. Marske's well organised defence easily dealt with anything which was thrown at them, though. However, with about six minutes left, Buddy sent a ball forward down the right from the halfway line which Gary Shields did well to prevent going for a goal kick; he beat one player before sending in a very good cross which Andy Jennings won at the near post to head in. 1-2
A couple more attacks from RCA were beaten out and Marske were worthy winners.

Sunderland Ryhope CA: Craig Shields, Patrick Little (Gary Shields), Glen Moan, Richard Flynn, Neil Moan, Mark McLeod (Dean Goodwin), Lee Owens, Steven Halliday, Andrew Jennings, David Tait, David Lee. Unused substitutes: Paul Sammons, Andrew Middleton, Jon Minniss.

Marske United: Brendan Ledgeway, Andrew Raw, Stephen Gamble, Andrew Swalwell, Michael Waller, Mark Taylor, Derek Bradley, Steve Cochrane, Glen Wesson, Craig Skelton, Jonathan Newton (Simon Kasonali). Unused substitutes: Benn Thompson, Anthony Roberts, Jonathan Peirson, Shane Erkine.