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, 29 November 2008

Horden CW 3-2 Guisborough Town

Welfare Park
Co. Durham.
On a bitterly cold day which wiped out the whole of the First Division, I was lucky enough to watch one of only four fixtures played in the second division. Two other games did kick-off, but had to be abandoned early on due to fog.
Horden staged a remarkable comeback in stoppage time to earn three valuable promotion points against Guisborough.
Horden were the only one of the promotion contenders to pick up three points at the weekend, and manager Simon Corbett said: "Last week, when we scored within ten seconds, we told people to make sure they turned up for the start of the match. This week, we've told them to make sure they don't go early!"
Guisborough were twice in the lead in the game. David Onions ran through to put them ahead midway through the first half, and after Horden's Ian Clark hit the post with a penalty, Craig Hubbard levelled on 68 minutes after sub Jonathan Monaghan's shot was blocked.
Liam McPhillips restored Guisborough's lead from a Luke Bythway pass, but in the first minute of stoppage time, Monaghan equalised with an overhead kick. Within seconds, Hubbard cracked in the winner for a 3-2 win.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Esh Winning 3-1 Whitehaven Amateurs

Northern League Division 2

West Terrace,
Esh Winning,
County Durham.

I always try to fit in at least one visit to Esh Winning during the season, sometimes more, as it is one of my favourite grounds - picturesque setting, canny pitch, great clubhouse and good craic!

The football's usually OK, too!

Whitehaven have been at or near the top of the division since the first day of the season and they took the game to Esh from the off, taking the lead in the 13th minute when Craig Robson sent in a nice cross from the left to be turned into net by Gary Hodgson. 0-1
This woke up Esh and they were able to equalise 2 minutes later when left winger Michael Fort was upended in the penalty area and Chris Smith put away the resulting spot kick. 1-1
Exactly 10 minutes later. Michael Fort was awarded another penalty for another foul by the same player in almost the same place in the penalty area. Once again, Chris Smith converted, sending in the rebound after Jack Fryer had made a good save from the first attempt. 2-1
5 minutes from time, Tony Hanson was on hand when a free kick was beaten out and he blasted into goal to confirm the victory for Esh Winning. 3-1

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Shildon 4-1 Billingham Town

Northern League Cup 2nd. Round
Dean Street,
My first time at Dean Street for 3 seasons, and, as always, I missed the turn off the A688 and finished up in a different part of Shildon, which I now recognise!
The match programme states it was a First Division fixture, but I assure you it was a League Cup tie.
Billingham Town took an early lead when the Shildon 'keeper, Andrew Spence, advanced too far from his goal and found himself in No-Man's Land when the ball was passed to the unmarked Chris Moore out on the left. Moore had all the time in the world in which to control the ball and strike it hard with his left foot into the back of the net. I didn't win the Golden Goal prize through this! 8 minutes 0-1.
Bell had a shot saved in the 14th minute and Byrne found himself one on one with the keeper in the 22nd minute but the keeper managed to gather the ball easily. Spence had to save a Billingham Town free kick in the 26th minute to prevent the visitors from extending their lead. Shildon pressed forward and Chapman levelled the score in the 30th minute. The referee seemed to have lost control at this stage and he booked Walklate, Bell and Mason within 10 minutes of each other. Byrne finally put Shildon ahead in the 41st minute when he cleverly wrong footed the keeper and scored.
HALF TIME Shildon 2 - 1 Billingham Town
Shildon came out after the break and pushed to extend their lead. Chapman had a good effort in the 48th minute which went just over the bar. Shildon were awarded a penalty in the 50th minute which was one of the first refereeing decisions of the game that had went in their favour. Byrne stepped up to take the penalty and confidently slotted the ball past the Billingham Town keeper to put Shildon 3-1 ahead. The visitors came close in the 55th minute when former Shildon player - Whensley had a shot just wide. Shildon were unlucky in the 65th minute when a goalmouth scramble almost resulted in them getting another goal, Billingham somehow managed to get the ball away. Watson hit the bar in the 68th minute and Byrne missed a golden opportunity in the 73rd minute. Watling played a good ball through to Byrne in the 77th minute, Byrne should have shot straightaway as he was in a good position to score, unfortunately he opted to try to dance through the Billingham Town defence and eventually lost the ball and the attack came to nothing. In the 90th minute the visitors shot just wide of the post and then in same minute Shildon went forward and extended their lead through Bell to 4-1. The final whistle came and although it was by no means a convincing performance, Shildon maintain their unbeaten run and progress in another cup competition.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Spennymoor Town 2-1 Stokesley Sports Club

FA Vase 2nd. Round Proper
The Brewery Field

Played on a sticky pitch, Stokesley set their stall out from the off by puting ten men behind the ball and relying on a quick breakaway and Spennymoor were unable to capitalise on some wayward defending by the visitors. Chris Smith twice shot into Dan Johnson in the Stokesley goal, then Craig Ruddy got the better of Leon Poole down the left and his squared pass saw Stokesley skipper Stuart Wise get a block on his shot. Stokesley almost opened the scoring when the powerful Craig Johnson headed across the face of goal and Paul Campbell hooked the ball off the post and into Keith Finch's arms. At the other end Smith headed tamely into Johnson before Karl Richards swung two excellent corners over all to no avail, then curled a free kick into Johnson's arms.
The breakthrough came when a long ball from Neil Radigan saw Moors defender Matt Noble misjudge the bounce and Dale Mendum broke clear to slot the ball past Finch. It was hands to the pump for Spennymoor, rallied by the vocal home support in the second half to turn the game around, it looked over until the introduction of Craig Gott and Chris Lawther for Graham Robinson and Noble respectively. Jamie Clarke and Smith again went close before the Moors eventually restored parity on 77 minutes. Lawther held off two challenges to drill a shot into the bottom corner of the net.
Moors, now with their tails up, went for the winner and eight minutes later Lawther sprinted clear down the right and as he cut inside the area his cross cum shot was bundled into the net by Stuart Wise and Lawther reeled away in delight and there were mass celebrations on the terraces. Moors almost wrapped the win up in stoppage time and were denied a penalty when Richards dribbled into the area and was hauled down, however, the match official waved play on and Moors stood firm to celebrate at the final whistle £1200 richer with this win and go into the hat on Monday for the 3rd Round Draw.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Chester le Street Town 4-2 Newcastle Benfield Bay Plastics

Northern League Division 1
Moor Park,
Chester Moor,
County Durham.
Chester-le-Street caused another upset in the skilltrainingltd Northern League when they beat one of the title favourites, Newcastle Benfield, by 4-2 on Saturday.
Chester have beaten Consett and Whitley Bay in recent weeks as well as drawing at Dunston, and manager Stuart Sherwood said: “At the moment, we’re top of the form league, and long may it continue.“Maybe other teams are underestimating us because we were bottom of the league table at the start of the season, but there isn’t a better team than us at the moment – we’re scoring goals and playing some attractive football. Wayne Gredziak has made a big difference to us, but other players are doing well also.”
Micky Chilton put Benfield into an early lead, but Craig Price levelled from the penalty spot after Robbie Draper was fouled, and then Draper set up Price to score the second from close range. Gredziak then scored an excellent goal, when he cut in from the right and scored from 25 yards to make it 3-1 before half time.
Gredziak scored the fourth from a Price pass midway through the second half, and Ian Graham pulled a goal back late on for Benfield.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Ashington 3-1 Northallerton Town

Northern League Division 1
Woodhorn Lane,

Ashington's new ground has been beckoning me for a few weeks and I wanted to get there before the winter sets in and this was as good a chance as any. It's location is not easily found and I was at least slightly glad to discover that I was not the only person to have problems reaching it - quite a few people from Northallerton had the same problem, including some of the players.

It is a very nice, tidy, set-up within a new housing development but the lack of direction and/or road signs added to the difficulties of finding it. The clubhouse is very clean and hospital-like and has yet to develope the atmosphere which used to permeate the old ground, Portland Park, nevertheless, Worthington's Bitter at £1.oo per pint is attractive enough and it was very palatable! A nice mince 'n' onion pie just before kick-off certainly set me up for the rest of the afternoon.

The Colliers took the game to Town from the off and probably enjoyed most of the possession during the first half but looked as though they would go in level having failed to capitalise on their territorial advantage but with the clock ticking into injury time Gareth Bainbridge broke into the box and sent a lovely chip over Northallerton keeper Jody Barford. This looked to be heading into the goal but Lee McAndrew forced it over the line to be sure. Half time 1-0 and off for a cup of not-very-strong Bovril and a hamburger with very soggy onions.
Northallerton came out revitalised in the second half with the introduction of Gary Shardha in place of a lack-lustre Jason Newall and took the game to Ashington for the opening ten minutes however Colliers gradually regained control of the game and Robbie Cockburn shot home from close range to put the home side further ahead. 2-0
Ashington made the game safe when some good work down the left by substitute Lee Scott saw him pull it back for McAndrew to drill in a shot which was well saved by Barford but his parry only fell to David Rayner who shot home from close range. 3-0

Northallerton grabbed a late consolation goal when Shardha was on hand to blast in a hopeful punt into the penalty area from deep but it was too little too late with the final whistle confirming the three points for the hosts. 3-1

Ashington: Kyle Hayes, David Rayner, Justin Millican, David Tremble, Paul Dunn, Ross Atkinson (Lee Scott), Michael Fenwick, Christian Graham, Robert Cockburn, Gareth Bainbridge, Lee McAndrew (Luke Parkinson).
Unused substitutes David Bibby, Daniel Kennerly, Paul Simpson.
Northallerton Town: Jody Barford, Christopher Walker, Stuart Jackson, James Crossman, Steven Purcifer, Jamie Walton (Scott McNichol), Steven Roberts, Jason Newall (Gary Shardha), Gabriel Radu, Carl Chillingsworth, Paul Jack.
Unused substitutes Patrick Pisani, Martyn Speight, Stuart Dawson.