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, 28 November 2009

Horden C.W. 1-0 Ryton

Northern League Division 1
Welfare Park
Co. Durham.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Bedlington Terriers v Spennymoor Town

FA Vase 2nd. Round Proper
Dr. Pit Welfare Pit Welfare Park

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Brandon United 1-2 Guisborough Town

Northern League Division 2
Welfare Park

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Whickham 0-1 Northallerton Town

Northern League Division 2
The Glebe Sports Ground
Rectory Lane
Co. Durham.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Chester le Street Town 2-0 Dunston UTS

Durham County FA Challenge Cup 2nd Round
Moor Park
Chester Moor
Chester le Street
Co. Durha.

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Esh Winning 2-4 South Shields

Northern League Division 1
West Terrace
Co. Durham.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Spennymoor Town 1-0 Whitley Bay

Northern League Division 1
The Brewery Field
Co. Durham.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Esh Winning 3-4 Consett

Durham Challenge Cup 1st Round
West Terrace
Co. Durham.

Saturday 17th October 2009 Sunderland Ryhope CA 0-2 Newton Aycliffe

Northern League Division 2
Meadow Park
Co. Durham.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Seaham Red Star 0-1 Jarrow Roofing Boldon CA

Northern League Division 2
Seaham Town Park,
Co. Durham.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Horden CW 0-5 Whitley Bay

Northern League Division 1
Welfare Park
Park Road
Co. Durham.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Consett 0-2 Bedlington Terriers

FA Vase First Round Proper
Belle Vue
Ashdale Road
Co. Durham.

This has the potential to be the tie of the round; Consett, who could have won the league last season, have had an inconsistent time of it so far this season and have yet to field their strongest side, while Terriers are on a run of five wins on the bounce and looked very organised when they progressed at the expense of Esh Winning in the 1st qualifying round. There again, it could be a damp squib........ time will tell.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Saturday 26/09/09 Sunderland Ryhope CA 3-0 Whickham

Northern League Division 2
Meadow Park
Co. Durham.

This has been described elsewhere as "men against boys" and I could not agree more. RCA, top of the division having won 8 and drawn 1 of their 9 fixtures to date, fielded a possibly weaker side than usual due to injuries, but still had more than enough to cope with Whickham's depleted young side. Special mention goes to young Scott Cresswell in the Whickham goal, who did his best to keep his side in the game.
RCA took the lead after 15 minutes when a surging run by Scott Richards left the Whickham defence in disarray, his cross found Liam McBryde at the far post and he headed goalwards, Steve Stewart made sure nipping in to head home from close range. RCA had the ball in the net when McBryde rose high above Gary Andison and headed home only for the linesman to flag for an infringement.
Late in the half a lovely cross from Stewart found Harrison Davies inside the six yard box, but he could only guide the ball onto the bar and into the waiting arms of Cresswell and a minute later the same player shot across the face of goal. McBryde had another goal disallowed when he ghosted in at the back post to score from a well taken corner. The referee awarded a freekick for a foul on the keeper. However, on the hour mark McBryde got the goal that his efforts deserved when he latched onto a pass from Stewart and although Cresswell saved the first shot he followed up and slide the ball home. Within a minute RCA were 3 - 0 up when Richards hit an unstoppable 25 yard screamer which the goalkeeper never saw.
Only some brilliant saves from Cresswell kept the score at 3 - 0, firstly a point blank save from Shields and then he saved with his feet from Stewart.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Easington Colliery 0-1 Shildon

FA Vase
Second Round Qualifying

Easington Welfare Park
Memorial Road
Co. Durham.

My first visit to Easington in nearly 44 years and I really enjoyed it. Wearside League outfit Easington battled well to keep a strong Shildon side at bay, to the point of causing a few problems for the Shildon defence towards the end of the game. A well-taken free kick from the edge of the penalty area by Andrew Johnson, well into time added on at the end, was the deciding factor. A Shildon shot which went out for a goal-kick after hitting a post after 28 seconds, could have signalled a rout.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Sunderland Ryhope CA 0-0 Crook Town

Northern League Division 2
Meadow Park
Co. Durham.

Sunderland RCA lost their 100% league record to a very good Crook Town team who more than matched them in a very competitive 0-0 draw at Meadow Park.
How often have you heard it said that 0-0 draws were predictable? Well when these two teams met they had scored 45 goals between them so a no score draw was probably the most unpredictable score line imaginable.
The game started with Crook forcing the pace and a shot from Kokes going wide. It didn’t take long for RCA to respond and it was Davison who produced a cracking shot which was well saved by Lanning.
In the 18th minute Crook looked to have taken the lead when a cross into the box was met by Olusoga who scrambled it home, but he was adjudged to be offside. Crook were piling on the pressure and gained two corners in quick succession; however they were well dealt with by RCA defence.
In the 37th minute RCA were awarded a freekick on the edge of the box and Coghlan passed the ball to Davies who crossed into the box only for Lanning to get to the ball just before the head of Davison.Two minutes later and another Coghlan freekick went inches wide with the keeper beaten.
In the 42nd minute Taylor tried an audacious shot from 25 yards which rattled off the crossbar and was cleared by Hall.
The second half saw Crook well on top in the opening 10 minutes with Kokes going close with a snap shot and Hall heading against the crossbar. The two forwards were causing all sorts of problems and only some superb defending by Wardle and Anderson kept them at bay.
In the 70th minute a corner was awarded to Crook and when the ball was delivered into the box Hall powered a header downward into the bottom corner. Somehow Mclean got a hand to the ball and turned it over the bar. A great save to keep RCA in the game.
The introduction of Richards to the midfield added something to RCA as an attacking force and they came into the game a little more. Coghlan sent another freekick inches wide and when Davis crossed to the far post Taylor was on hand to volley the ball home only to be flagged for offside.
Both teams continued to attack and to try to win the game and as the match reached its conclusion a flare up between a number of players resulted in the dismissal of Davis.
RCA will probably not face a sterner test than this one and they came through with their unbeaten league form intact. Crook will be disappointed that they did not convert at least one of their chances.

Report by Rob Jones at http://www.sunderlandrca.co.uk

Saturday, 12 September 2009


I must get down to adding the match reports which are missing from the last few weeks. Just not had a lot of time recently.

Billingham Town 1-5 Consett

Northern League Division 1
Rowney Ltd. Arena
Bedford Terrace

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Esh Winning 2-4 Bedlington Terriers

FA Vase First Round Qualifying
West Terrace
Co. Durham.

Report By Dave Anderson at http://www.bedlingtonterriersfc.co.uk

Bedlington Terriers advanced to the next qualifying round of the FA Vase at Esh Winning on Saturday, with a 4-2 victory orchestrated by debutant David Southern, who was involved in all the Terriers goals. Signed a week earlier from local rivals Morpeth Town, but unavailable due to injury until this tie, Southern showed exactly the type of qualities that made Bedlington so keen to secure his signature. Top League scorer in the season Gateshead won promotion from the Unibond Premier Division; he is a player of undoubted qualities and is sure to have a major impact in the coming months.Looking to bounce back from the disappointments of their FA Cup exit the previous Saturday, and failure to secure the points at Ashington in the Bank Holiday derby, co-managers Lowery and Perry named a very strong starting eleven for this encounter at Esh’s picturesque Waterhouses location. This meant a debut for the other signing made by Bedlington, in vastly experienced midfielder Stuart Elliott. On the books of Arsenal as a schoolboy, Elliott spent five years at Newcastle, including time captaining the Reserve team and loan moves to seven other Football League clubs. Spells at Darlington, Plymouth and Carlisle followed before he dropped down into non-league, where he has significant experience in the high-echelons of the semi-professional game. Still only 32 years of age, the signing of Elliott is a real coup for Bedlington, and a signal of their intent to be challenging for honours again. Bedlington attacked from the whistle, with Poole’s 25 yard drive forcing Esh keeper Molyneux into a save within 3 minutes. And the concerted pressure paid dividends for the visitors as they took the lead after just ten minutes of play. Poole again was involved, playing Shaw through and the midfielder knocked the ball past his marker only for Molyneux to advance quickly from his goal. Although the keeper blocked Shaw’s toe poke, Southern was first to react to the loose ball to slot home into an empty net from 12 yards. The Terriers should have doubled their advantage within a minute. Good work from Christensen down the right saw the wing back hit a low cross to the near post which Graham contrived to miss completely and spurn an easy tap in from 3 yards. The visitors paid for this miss as the home side equalised on the quarter hour mark, with Coates latching on to a cross from Smith and then rounding Newton in the Bedlington goal before firing home. Bedlington continued to attack, as Shandran made progress along the edge of the Esh area before feeding Southern. He turned his man quickly and fired a low shot which Molyneux collected at the second attempt. The lead was restored just after the midway point in the half, and it was the goal of the season so far by anyone in a Bedlington shirt. The ball was fed into Southern, back to goal, and his simple lay off to Graham saw the skilful midfielder unleash a shot from 30 yards which was still rising as it flew into the top left corner. Even the home fans were forced to appreciate the quality of the strike.
The only black mark in the remainder of the opening period was a yellow card for new boy Elliott, after a couple of unsightly lunges. Another referee may not have been so lenient, and so a caution was gratefully accepted by the Bedlington contingent. Bedlington made a change for the start of the second half, with skipper Snowden struggling with injury, and having to be replaced by Ludlow as Lowery and Perry changed things around.
Bedlington extended their lead within 9 minutes of the restart, and again Southern had a hand in the goal. Picking up the ball in his own half, Southern made 30 yards progress before spreading the ball left to Shandran. He cut into the area, working it on to his right foot before curling his effort into the bottom right hand corner of the goal.
If Bedlington thought it was game over, then the home side had other ideas as they pushed to get back into the game. They were soon rewarded when they reduced the deficit on the hour mark, albeit in a slightly fortunate manner. When Martin was fed possession by Fort, the Esh striker saw his low shot from 20 yards take wicked deflection of the leg of Hedley, as a result squeezing inside the post past the wrong-footed Newton.The Terriers should have restored their two goal cushion within a minute, but Graham’s header from Ludlow’s brilliantly dug out cross pounded the pitch before bouncing high against the bar and away to safety. Although the hosts were putting the Bedlington defence under increasing pressure, they rarely actually fashioned a genuine goal scoring opportunity. Bedlington, however, looked dangerous every time they mounted an attack.
Banks almost fired into his own goal from a Ludlow cross, then Shandran saw his headed from Southern’s cross defected just wide, even though a goal kick was subsequently awarded. Into the final ten minutes, the Terriers made their remaining substitutions, with Shandran and Graham being replaced by McRoberts and McAlindon respectively.
The visitors finally put the game beyond reach with four minutes left, and appropriately it was Southern who capped off a man of the match performance with the goal. Christensen made progress down the right, and his cross from the goal line evaded all in the middle, allowing Southern to work on to his right foot and curl his effort into the bottom right corner in a finish very similar to his striker partner’s goal earlier in the half. So a satisfying result for the Terriers, and one which booked them a home tie against Jarrow Roofing in the next round of the competition on Saturday 19th September.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Guisborough Town 1-0 Wakefield

FA Cup Preliminary Round Replay
King George V Stadium
Howlbeck Road
N. Yorks.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Chester le Street Town 0-5 Norton & Stockton Ancients

FA Cup Preliminary Round
Chester Moor Park
Chester le Street
C. Durham.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Saturday 22nd August 2009 Washington 3-2 Darlington Railway Athletic

Northern League Division 2
Albany Park
Spout Lane
Co. Durham

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Birtley Town 1-3 Billingham Synthonia

FA Cup Extra-Preliminary Round Replay
Birtley Sports Complex
Durham Road
Co. Durham.

Northern League First Division Billingham Synthonia survived a late scare against battling Birtley to qualify for the next round of the Cup. With a decent crowd, with many followers heading up the A1 from Teesside, cheering the sides on, both teams were desperate for some FA Cup success.

Buoyed on by Saturday’s draw, Birtley started on the offensive as they looked to cause an upset and the first real opportunity of the game fell to Birtley skipper Steven Burns, who beat Liam McPhillips before striking a near post effort which Christopher Porter did well to save.
This woke Synners up, and they sprung into life almost immediately. They almost opened the scoring when Danny Earl beat a defender and struck a fine strike past keeper Andrew Mallinson, only to see his effort cleared off the line.

Synthonia did not have to wait long to open the scoring though. After winning a corner on the left, Colin Iley and David Yale played a quick one-two before Iley fired a cross into the area and captain Darren Hollingsworth rose highest to power a header home into the back of the net.

The visitors were now starting to settle, and they had chances to extend their lead through Andrew Harbron and the influential Yale. They did eventually double their lead on 39 minutes. when Iley used some great trickery to beat the full-back and fire a dangerous cross into the area. The ball fell to McPhillips, who knocked it to James Magowan to smash the ball past the keeper and give Synners a two goal lead at the break.

With 45 minutes to keep their Cup dreams alive, Birtley came into the second half like a different team. As they pushed forward in search of a comeback, they left themselves exposed at the back and Synners had several break away chances which they failed to convert.
Synners were punished on 67 minutes as Birtley grabbed a lifeline. After a great build-up, Kris Hughes struck a powerful volley past the despairing Porter to get his team back into the game.
The home team and their followers could sense the chance of a comeback as the small ground started to buzz with excitement. Game on.
With time ticking away, Birtley were throwing more and more men forward as they looked for an equaliser, but found the Synners backline, particularly Man of the Match Hollingsworth, hard to break down.
After 87 minutes, Birtley had two corners but failed to convert any of them into scoring chances and they were soon to be punished. As Synthonia held the ball upfield in the corner, Earl collected the ball and jinked past one defender before squaring to Michael Jameson who fired past the keeper.
Birtley did themselves proud on this warm summers night in the North-East, but must be left rueing the late equaliser they conceded on Saturday at Billingham. Next up for Synners is an away tie at Morpeth Town.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Sunderland RCA 1-3 Ryton

FA Cup Extra-Preliminary Round.
Meadow Park,
Co. Durham.

My second consecutive Saturday watching RCA, by virtue of the fact that I promised my mate Maz, Ryton midfielder Craig Marron, that I would be watching him early on in the season, to allow him the opportunity to buy me a pint!

Playing down-bank with the wind behind them, RCA caused Ryton a lot of problems in the first half, although the Ryton defence coped well with the aerial threat posed by Mark Davison. 15 minutes into the game, RCA's Harrison Davies skied a ball into the goal area, watched all the way down by Ryton keeper TonyDavison, who caught the ball then fell into goal 1-0.
With the change-round at half time Ryton soon took advantage and Craig Marron converted a penalty following a push in the back on Dean Patton by David Anderson 1-1 55 minutes.
A long range effort from Andy Inness brought a good save
from RCA keeper Gary Hoggeth.
RCA held on until the 69 minute when Andrew Barclay volleyed home a cross from Dale Burrell to make it 2 - 1 to the visitors.
RCA rallied for a spell as Ryton defended their lead and Stephen "Buddy" Halliday was unlucky to see a glancing header go wide. They then forced a succession of corners and only some superb defending by Ross Preston kept the score at 2 - 1.

Dale Burrell finished off any hopes RCA had of a replay when he went on a solo run, beating two defenders before rounding the keeper to score from close range with eight minutes left 3-1.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Sunderland RCA 5-2 Gillford Park

Northern League Division 2.
Meadow Park,
Co. Durham.

The opening day of the new season saw Sunderland RCA FC matched against skillstrainingltd Northern League newcomers Gillford Park FC. A Silver Salver was presented by RCA's captain Gary Shields, to the Gillford captain Mark Butler, to mark the occasion.

The game started in glorious sunshine with RCA taking advantage of the slope and it was they who had the first opportunity after 7 minutes when a cross from Harrison Davies was tipped away for a corner. Steve Stewart sent in the corner for Mark Davison to powerfully head home.
Michael Dickinson had the chance to level 2 minutes later but his shot went well wide. RCA took control of the game in a scintillating period of play which saw Michael Coghlan burst into the box and although his shot was blocked Davies was there to volley home from 10 yards out. Within a minute it was 3-0 when a crossfield ball from Davies found the unmarked Gary Shields who cracked the ball home from 15 yards out.
The crowd were being well entertained with fast attacking football and it was no surprise when Gillford pulled a goal back in the 18th minute when a corner was swung into the box by Mark Butler and the ball was stabbed home from close range by Ian Johnstone.
Davison restored the 3 goal difference after 24 minutes when Shields sent in an inch perfect cross for him to head home his second of the match.
Gillford to their credit continued to battle and were rewarded with a breakaway goal when Matt Read sent the ball clear of his defence to Dickinson whose crossfield pass found Darren Addison free and he finished superbly past the advancing Gary Hoggeth.
At half time Andy Reay replaced RCA's Paul Wardle who was struggling with a hamstring problem.
The second half could never match up to the pace of the first and although both teams had chances to score, notably, Steve Skinner and Dickinson, for Gillford Park, in the opening 3 minutes of the second half and Davison, for RCA, after 50 minutes it was Stewart who sealed the victory with a well taken shot from an immaculate through ball from Scott Richards.
As the game progressed both teams started to cancel each other out and although both teams had half chances to score neither keeper was really tested until the last 5 minutes when Hoggeth had to punch clear a wicked curling cross from Addison and then a shot from Davison from 40 yards caught Shane Williams off his line but went narrowly wide.

Match report and picture from the Sunderand RCA web site at http://www.sunderlandrca.co.uk

Friday, 7 August 2009

The New Season Beckons!!!!!

The skilltraining Northern League's new season begins tomorrow and I am like a cat on hot bricks! There has been so much activity regarding players changing clubs and new money becoming available to certain "lucky" clubs that I think this season is going to be very exciting! I intend to begin my season at the club which has recently become my local side: Sunderland Ryhope Community Association's Meadow Park is only one mile from my new home and they are up against "new boys" Gillford Park, of Carlisle, who have been promoted from the Northern Football Alliance. RCA's corned beef 'n' tatie pie is famous throughout the league and if I am still hungry afterwards, their giant hot dogs come in the biggest finger rolls I have ever seen!
Ooooh! I can't wait!

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Newcastle Benfield 5-0 Consett

J.R. Cleator Cup
Sam Smith's Sports Grounds
Benfield Road
Newcastle upon Tyne.

This cup perpetuates the memory of the late Jim R. Cleator who died in December 1980. He had given sixty years continuous and active association with the League as a player and official with South Bank, League Management Member, Chairman and finally President of the League.
The match is played between the League Champions and the League Cup winners, or if both trophies have been won by the same club, between the League Champions and the League Runners-up (in this case Consett play by virtue of being runners-up), on the ground of the League Champions.

Crikey, talk about OUCH! Consett just couldn't handle Benfield's tactics - defend high up and attack on the break with high balls dropping in the area between the Consett keeper and his back line. Benfield keeper Andrew Grainger only had one shot to deal with in the whole of the game. Stephen Young netted twice and could have had a third had his shot not rebounded from the underside of the bar, Adam Scope converted the penalty after Dan Staples brought down Dean Nicholson, Mark Atkinson got the fourth but the best goal of the game was the last, scored by substitute Andrew Mackintosh.

Friday, 31 July 2009

Matches Attended Season 2009-10

  • 04/07/09 Willington 0-3 Bishop Auckland Pre-season friendly
  • 11/07/09 West Auckland Town 1-2 Crook Town Pre-Season Friendly
  • 18/07/09 Bishop Auckland 4-0 Brandon United Pre-season Friendly
  • 28/07/09 Birtley Town 2-1 Ryton Pre-season Friendly
  • 31/07/09 Spennymoor Town 2-5 Linlithgow Rose Pre-season Friendly
  • 01/08/09 Newcastle Benfield 5-0 Consett Cleator Cup Final
  • 08/08/09 Sunderland RCA 5-2 Gillford Park Northern League Div 2
  • 15/08/09 Sunderand RCA 1-3 Ryton FA Cup Extra-Preliminary Round
  • 18/08/09 Birtley Town 1-3 Billingham Synthonia FA Cup Extra-Preliminary Round Replay
  • 22/08/09 Washington 3-2 Darlington Railway Athletic Northern League Div 2
  • 29/08/09 Chester le Street Town 0-5 Norton & Stockton Ancients FA Cup Preliminary Round
  • 02/09/09 Guisborough Town 1-0 Wakefield FA Cup Preliminary Round Replay
  • 05/09/09 Esh Winning 2-4 Bedlington Terriers FA Vase 1st. Round Qualifying
  • 12/09/09 Billingham Town 1-5 Consett Northern League Div 1
  • 16/09/09 Sunderland RCA 0-0 Crook Town Northern League Div 2
  • 19/09/09 Easington Colliery 0-1 Shildon FA Vase 2nd. Round Qualifying
  • 26/09/09 Sunderland RCA 3-0 Whickham Northern League Div 2
  • 03/10/09 Consett 0-2 Bedlington Terriers FA Vase 1st. Round Proper
  • 10/10/09 Horden C.W. 0-5 Whitley Bay Northern League Div 1
  • 13/10/09 Seaham Red Star 0-1 Jarrow Roofing Boldon C.A. Northern League Div 2
  • 17/10/09 Sunderland Ryhope C.A. 0-2 Newton Aycliffe Northern League Div 2
  • 20/10/09 Esh Winning 3-4 Consett County Durham FA Challenge Cup 1st. Round
  • 24/10/09 SpennyItalicmoor Town 1-0 Whitley Bay Northern League Div 1
  • 31/11/09 Esh Winning 2-4 South Shields Northern League Div 1
  • 03/11/09 Chester le Street Town 2-0 Dunston UTS County Durham FA Challenge Cup 2nd. Round
  • 07/11/09 Whickham 0-1 Northallerton Town Northern League Div 2
  • 11/11/09 Brandon United 1-2 Guisborough Town Northern League Div 2
  • 14/11/09 Bedlington Terriers 1-5 Spennymoor Town FA Vase 2nd. Round
  • 28/11/09 Horden C.W. 1-0 Ryton Northern League Div 1
  • 05/12/09 Crook Town 4-2 Shildon FA Vase 3rd Round Proper
  • 12/12/09 West Auckland Town 2-2 Dunston UTS Northern League Div 1
  • 23/01/10 Ryhope C.W. 5-0 Houghton Town Wearside League
  • 23/01/10 Sunderland Ryhope CA 8-0 Hebburn Town Northern League Div 2 (2nd half)
  • 30/01/10 Shildon 3-1 Whitley Bay Northern League Div 1
  • 06/02/10 Sunderland Ryhope CA 1-0 Thornaby Northern League Div 2
  • 10/02/10 Sunderland Ryhope CA 3-0 Birtley Town Northern League Div 2
  • 20/02/10 Sunderland Ryhope CA 3-0 Guisborough Town Northern League Div 2
  • 23/02/10 Horden C.W. 2-4 Ashington Northern League Div 1
  • 24/02/10 Billingham Synthonia 2-2 Esh Winning Northern League Div 1
  • 27/02/10 Shildon 1-5 Whitley Bay FA Vase 6th Round Proper
  • 06/03/10 Sunderland Ryhope CA 1-0 Brandon United Northern League Div 2
  • 13/03/10 Sunderland Ryhope CA 3-2 Stokesley Northern League Div 2
  • 27/03/10 Sunderland Ryhope CA 0-0 Whitehaven Northern League Div 2
  • 02/04/10 Billingham Synthonia 2-0 Ryton Durham County FA Challenge Cup Final
  • 03/04/10 Darlington Railway Athletic 1-4 Sunderland Ryhope CA Northern League Div 2
  • 05/04/10 Ryhope CW 2-0 Cleator Moor Celtic Monkwearmouth Charity Cup Final (Wearside League)
  • 10/04/10 Sunderland RCA 2-0 Northallerton Town Northern League Div 2
  • 17/04/10 Sunderland RCA 3-1 North Shields Northern League Div 2
  • 24/04/10 Sunderland RCA 0-4 Team Northumbria Northern League Div 2
  • 28/04/10 Ryhope CW 0-1 Easington Colliery Wearside League
  • 01/05/10 Gillford Park 1-0 Sunderland RCA Northern League Div 2
  • 21/05/10 Easington Colliery 3-2 New Marske Wearside League Cup Final

Spennymoor Town 2-5 Linlithgow Rose

Friendly Match
The Brewery Field
Co. Durham.

The Rose are playing the first of two pre-season friendly matches in the area this weekend, the second being at Chester le Street Town tomorrow. Linlithgow play in the Scottish Junior League(East Region).
The visitors were a goal down at half-time and it was 2-0 early in the second half. With about 30 minutes left, some astute substitutions brought some very good football from Linlithgow whose pressure resulted in confusion in the Moors' defence and 5 goals, 3 of which were very well-worked.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Tuesday 28/07/09 Birtley Town 2-1 Ryton

Friendly Match
Birtley Leisure Complex
Co. Durham.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Saturday 18/07/09 Bishop Auckland 4-0 Brandon United

The Sir Bobby Robson Sports Centre
Ushaw Moor
Co. Durham.

Saturday 11/07/09 West Auckland Town 1-2 Crook Town

Darlington Road
West Auckland
Co. Durham.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Willington 0-3 Bishop Auckland

Pre-Season Friendly
Hall Lane,
Co. Durham.

Less than 2 months since the last match I saw and 2009-10 is almost upon us! Northern League Division 1 side Bishop Auckland make the fairly short trip up the valley to take on Wearside League outfit Willington. It seems a long time since I was last at Willington, I think it's about 4 years since they were relegated from Northern League Divison 2.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Newton Aycliffe 0-1 Teesside Athletic

Sunderland Shipowners' Cup Final (Wearside League)
Moore Lane Sports Centre
Newton Aycliffe
Co. Durham
The Shipowners' Cup was inaugurated in the 1898-99 season by Alderman Ralph B. Annison. The money raised from the competition went to the Boys' Orphanage on the edge of Sunderland's Town Moor.
A Wearside League club were the first winners, when Royal Rovers had the first of their triumphs. They beat Whitburn 2-1 in the final, after a drawn game, raising £50 for the Orphanage.
The Orphan Asylum was built in Sunderland's East End at a cost of £4,000. It opened for 'inmates' on October 17th, 1861. The boys in the Asylum were from the homes of lost seaman. On average there were 40 boys at the Orphanage at any one time. Their education had a strong nautical flavour. There was a sailing ship in the grounds for instruction in rigging etc. It was not surprising, therefore, that many of the boys went to sea.
Between 1901 and 1902 alone, one old boy received the freedom of the borough for service in South Africa, one passed as Extra Master, one as First Class Engineer, one as Mate while another was appointed Master of a Workhouse in Northumberland.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Newcastle Benfield 2-0 Penrith

The Brooks Mileson Northern League Cup Final
West Allotment Celtic FC
The last game of the season was played on Friday night at West Allotment Celtic. The Club were hosting the Brooks Mileson Memorial Cup Final between Newcastle Benfield and Penrith. A week last Tuesday, Newcastle Benfield had travelled to Penrith, where they clinched the skilltrainingltd Northern League Division One title with a goal in the last three minutes. Tonight, they were looking to complete the double.
As with last week’s game Penrith played well and created a number of chances, but Benfield ‘keeper, Andrew Grainger, was in good form, and pulled off a number of good saves to deny Penrith. Ian Graham broke the deadlock for Benfield with a stunning second half drive. Substitute, Adam Scope, put the result beyond doubt with a second goal. Congratulations to Benfield.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Sunday 10th. May 2009 Glossop North End 0-2 Whitley Bay

FA Carlsberg Vase Final
Wembley Stadium

A truly glorious day in every sense of the word ended with Whitley becoming the first team from the north east to win a cup final at the new Wembley Stadium. This was of course the second time that Whitley have won the FA Vase, a feat never previously achieved by a team from the region. Sunday’s success at a sunbathed Wembley makes Whitley only the fifth team ever to win the Vase more than once since it was first contested in 1975 to replace the old FA Amateur Cup.
Whitley thoroughly deserved their victory as they were the better side for long periods of the game and created far more chances than their Derbyshire opponents Glossop North End.
Unlike the 2002 Vase Final at Villa Park, this was an exciting, action packed, end to end game with both sides contributing and creating opportunities. The playing surface, which had been criticised by certain Premier League Managers had been relaid and was in perfect condition.
Early on, Lee Picton’s long throw brought a goal line save from Glossop keeper Matt Cooper, but the first moment of real excitement came with 16 minutes on the clock when Adam Johnston saw Cooper off his line and tried a spectacular 60 yard shot from inside his own half. It seemed for a moment that the ball would drift over the keeper but he back pedalled rapidly and just managed to palm the ball onto the crossbar to prevent what would have been one of the most spectacular goals ever seen at the new stadium.
Glossop hit back six minutes later with what proved to be their best effort of the game, when Nick Bailey cut in from the right and struck a great shot which rebounded off the angle of post and bar with Terry Burke beaten.
Having started the game with Chris Moore out on the left, Whitley made a tactical switch, with Moore moving across to his more familiar right wing and Craig McFarlane taking over on the left.
Gradually Whitley took control forcing two corners but Glossop came back with Darren Hamilton bringing a low save from Burke just past the half hour.
The massed ranks of north east fans erupted with joy four minutes later when Whitley took the lead with an excellent goal. Paul Chow played the ball square to Lee Kerr on the right edge of the Glossop penalty area and Kerr’s neat touch took him past two floundering Glossop defenders before drilling the ball low past Cooper into the far corner of the net.
Glossop battled back and little more than a minute before half time, Dave Hodges, a left winger who Whitley had identified as a potential threat, crossed into the box where Allen and Morris almost made contact but Lee Picton blocked the ball and it was cleared.
Quickly Whitley broke away down the right thanks to Lee Kerr's long clearance and when Johnston slipped the ball through to Paul Chow, Whitley’s top scorer found himself clear on goal and he clipped the ball over Cooper who got his fingers to the ball but could not prevent it looping over him into the net to give Whitley a precious two goal lead with only seconds of the half remaining. The goal was Chow’s 40th of the season, a total only previously achieved by two Whitley greats, Ray Oliver from the 1950’s and the late Billy Wright, hero of the 1960’s.
Glossop may have felt aggrieved to be 2-0 down after contributing much to the opening half, but along with many of Whitley’s opponents this season, they had felt the impact of a potent strike force that with Chow’s goal had broken the Club’s all time scoring record in a season, reaching 154 goals.
After the interval Whitley continued to pose the greater threat and Chow might have added a third goal when he held off two challenges before driving the ball just over the bar. Craig McFarlane then played the ball through to Johnston whose shot was bravely blocked by Cooper’s feet. A double substitution just before the hour saw Johnston and McFarlane replaced by Phil Bell and Chris Fawcett, giving Whitley fresh legs just as the heat of the Wembley afternoon was beginning to take its toll. The temperature was such that players from both sides took the opportunity to take on some cold water while the substitutions were being made. There was a narrow escape for Glossop when a free kick taken by Kerr was headed onto the underside of the bar by Chow with Cooper struggling to push the ball away from goal. Chris Moore, whose pace troubled the North West Counties side all afternoon then broke clear on the right and forced Cooper to push the ball wide of the near post and as Whitley kept up the pressure, Ryan headed the ball from Kerr’s corner on to Chow who in turn sent a header over the bar. Fawcett was making life difficult for the Glossop defenders with his pace down the left while Phil Bell’s physical presence was unsettling the Derbyshire side.
With 17 minutes remaining, Chow was replaced by Paul Robinson and left the field to a huge ovation from the Whitley fans. Leon Ryan almost repeated his crucial goal at Lowestoft but this time he headed over the bar. There were so many near misses but Whitley could not find the net for the goal that would have sealed the game. Instead, having survived the onslaught Glossop pushed forward for the last ten minutes in a last ditch attempt to get back in the game. Hodges fired a shot in from the left but the ball landed on the roof of the net then a minute later, in a crowded goalmouth Burke pushed the ball away from Hodges’ left wing corner. Whitley were being pushed back but the entire defence of Taylor, Coulson Burke and Picton repelled everything that Glossop could throw at them. Damon Robson worked tirelessly in front of the back four and although there were a few nervous moments for Whitley, they held firm.
With time running out, Chris Moore’s counter attack set up Paul Robinson whose shot landed on the roof of the Glossop net. Four minutes of added time saw Whitley cope effectively with Glossop’s last ditch efforts to get back in the game and when the final whistle was blown, the celebrations could begin.
Lee Kerr was named man of the match by the sponsors Carlsberg although in truth, the honour could have gone to any one of a number of Whitley players.
The moment when David Coulson was presented with the FA Vase in front of the Royal Box was one that will live long in the memories of the thousands of Whitley fans who were basking in the warm Wembley sunshine.
For manager Ian Chandler and his assistant Steve Cuggy, who were members of the 2002 Vase winning side, this was a particularly rewarding moment, with Whitley becoming the first north east team to play - and win - at the magnificent new Wembley stadium.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Whitley Bay v Consett

Hillheads Road
Whitley Bay
Northern League Division 1

For the second successive Saturday, Whitley staged a dramatic come back after going two goals down in the first half, and once again they did it against the side top of the table.
Last week they severely dented Spennymoor’s championship hopes but Saturday’s victory was even more significant as it denied Consett the chance to claim their first Northern League title. The Steelmen can still become champions if Newcastle Benfield, the only side that can catch them, fail to win at Penrith on Tuesday evening but the result left Whitley in with a chance of claiming runners up spot.
The Northern League’s biggest crowd of the season, 599 spectators, saw the game get underway in glorious sunshine and it was Consett who started much the better and after just seven minutes Terry Burke was called into action, saving from Adam Emson. Whitley’s best effort in the opening half hour came with a speculative long range lob from Adam Johnston that dipped just over the bar.
Consett deservedly took the lead just before the half hour when Steven Johnson fired the ball home after hesitation in the Bay defence.
Whitley responded with Chow almost breaking clear but good defending denied him space and his shot was deflected behind for a corner. Play was held up when Johnson’s challenge caught Burke. The Consett man was booked and Burke needed treatment before he could continue.
The visitors must have felt that the title was theirs when they increased their lead two minutes before half time. The goal came when Dickman broke clear on the right and his shot struck the base of the post, rebounding to Emson who slotted the ball home to the delight of the sizeable number of visiting fans. There was no denying that Consett were the better side and looked much hungrier than Whitley.
However, all that changed after the interval as Whitley stormed back into the game.
Just over three minutes after the resumption, Paul Chow sent a glancing header past Paul Gilmore, who was a late replacement in goal for the visitors following an injury to their first choice keeper in the warm up. Consett’s nerves were jangling and urged on by the crowd, Whitley piled forward, Adam Johnston twice going close in quick succession. Whitley had strong claims for a penalty following a trip that appeared to take place just inside the area. However, the referee awarded a free kick inches outside the box and when Johnston drove the ball into the goalmouth, Phil Bell steered the ball past Gilmore for the equaliser.
Terry Burke made a great diving save to deny Gary Ormston and then Callum Anderson made an excellent clearance but in general it was Whitley who looked the likelier to get the winner as Consett began to run out of steam and appeared willing to settle for the point that would almost guarantee them the title.
Anderson, only a teenager, was impressive throughout and with eight minutes remaining almost set up the winner, threading an excellent ball through the Consett defence that almost reached Kerr in a scoring position. Two minutes later, Chris Moore, who had come off the bench midway through the half, was played clear on the right by Chris Reid and closed in on goal before calmly sliding the ball past Gilmore from an acute angle when the keeper must have been expecting him to cross the ball. It was a goal worthy of winning any game and it left the visitors deflated. Whitley comfortably played out the remaining minutes and might even have got a fourth when Craig McFarlane curled a shot just beyond the far post.
At the final whistle the Consett players sunk to their knees realising that they had let the title slip from their grasp while the Whitley team left the field acknowledging the ovation from their fans on their last appearance of the season at Hillheads with their date at Wembley just a week away. Whitley have scored a remarkable 66 goals in their 21 League games at Hillheads this season, a testimony to their attacking style of play and this is just part of the reason why attendances have continued to rise and are far superior to those of any other Northern League side.

Footnote: The result Penrith 0-1 Newcastle Benfield on Tuesday 5th. May saw Benfield crowned as champions with Consett taking second place.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Spennymoor Town 2-3 Whitley Bay

This can only be described as the game of two halves! Moors started the better side and took the game to Whitley, but had to wait until the 14th minute for their reward. A 60yd diagonal ball from Gareth Waite into the path of Craig Ruddy saw the little winger pull the ball back for Jamie Clarke to lash it into the net off the underside of the bar for his 31st league goal of the season. Three minutes later and the lead was extended when Bay keeper Terry Burke dallied on a back pass and after losing the ball, Karl Richards had the simple task of running the ball into the empty net to shock the visitors and send the home crowd into raptures. Whitley were on the back foot and were forced to make their first substitution with Lee Picton replacing Mark Taylor in defence. Moors still dominated with Anthony Peacock causing havoc, meanwhile Richards send three corners over which Whitley struggled to cope with but cleared. Whitley were handed a lifeline two minutes before the break when former Spennymoor striker Adam Johnston volleyed the ball from outside the area into the bottom corner of the net for what was their first shot on target.

Whitley were a different side in the second period, and more so when Peter Crouch look-alike, striker Phil Bell was introduced to the field. The former Blyth striker was a constant thorn in Spennymoor's side with Picton's long throws and the leveller came when Moors' Clarke challenged Bell to a high ball in the area but his flick saw the ball land in the top corner of the net past a static Niki Lawson and Bay celebrated. Bay were enjoying long spells of possession, especially with the driving rain behind them, and Johnston had strong appeals for a penalty turned down, before Bell headed wide after out jumping the home defence. Bell then sent a 20yd dipping drive at goal which Lawson saved well but collided with the post and had to receive treatment for a back injury. Peacock then saw Burke tip over his shot after he once again tormented the Whitley defence, however, the winner came with less than fifteen minuted on the clock when another former Spennymoor player, David Coulson, headed the ball home from close range after Chris Moore's teasing cross. Moors huffed and puffed with Richards probably having the best chance when Burke saved his tame shot. Clarke saw an acrobatic effort go wide and Peacock then fired wide after excellent determined work.

The final whistle came to end an excellent afternoon of football between two sides giving the 438 crowd plenty to cheer about and Spennymoor must have been disappointed to throw a two goal lead away but in the end Whitley just about deserved their win to keep their slim homes up of completing the double. This has to have been one of the best matches I have seen all season and the atmosphere generated by both sets of supporters was marvellous to experience.

Friday, 24 April 2009

Saturday 25th April 2009 Spennymoor Town v Whitley Bay

The Brewery Field beckons and it looks like I have to drive myself; big test of mind over body but I think footie will win! I think this fixture will have a positive effect on the eventual Northern League Division 1 championship: If there is a victory by either team, that club will be the champions, if it is a draw, I fancy Newcastle Benfield to nick it at the death.

Friday, 10 April 2009

Esh Winning 0-0 Norton & Stockton Ancients

Northern League Division 2
West Terrace
Co. Durham

Talk about mouthwatering and it doesn't get much better than this fixture! Norton sit at the top of the table with Esh 3 points behind in 2nd. place. Although the result will probably decide the fate of the championship, Norton go into the game comfortable in the knowledge that they were assured promotion after Wednesday's 2-2 draw between Marske United and Sunderland Ryhope CA, while Esh need 3 points from the remaning fixtures to guarantee promotion.
Add to the above the fact that Esh is one of my favourite grounds, also that I have a lot of friends who are connected to both clubs and I see a good day coming for me.
Once again, I am being chauffered to and fro; my friend Paul Sigsworth of Billingham Synthonia is doing the honours, this time (cheers, Paul).
I am happy to say that this turned into one of my most enjoyable games for a long time, as much for the welcome I received as for the football. From entering the ground, I kept meeting people I knew, then when Paul and I went into the clubhouse, I felt like a long-lost relative! First, I was presented with a get-well card by Billy Molyneux, the father of Danny the Esh Winning goalkeeper; the card contained a message from the Esh players and committee. Then when I opened the match programme, I was delighted to see that programme editor Lee Stewart had included a welcome message for me in his opening notes.
The game itself started off quite brightly with both sides displaying their eagerness to win all three points. However, after just 15 minutes, Esh defender, the well-experienced Graham Liddle formerly of Darlington, Tow Law, Washington and Ryton, had what looked like a collision with (I think) Norton striker Gary Mitchell who was through on goal. Lids seemed to straighten his arms on contact and this left the referee with no choice other than to send him off as he was in the position of last defender.
This setback only served to instill even more spirit into the Esh side who surprised everyone with their continued attacks. Not that Norton didn't contribute; it was an end-to-end game which continued in the same vein into the second half. The last 10 minutes saw Esh, having made use of all their substitutes, almost continually on the attack with Tony Hanson having a shot which Norton keeper James Briggs only managed to palm onto the post but held onto the ball when it rebounded.
This sharing of the points has left the championship still up for grabs but Norton now look favourites, with Esh left needing 2 points from their last 2 matches to be assured promotion.
Thanks to everyone at both clubs for an enjoyable afternoon, also the many neutrals who made up the excellent attendance of 262.

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Bedlington Terriers 1-3 Spennymoor Town

Dr. Pit Welfare Park
Park Road
My first match for 8 weeks and I had a smashing day out. My new friend, Consett supporter Kevin Hamilton, wanted to visit Bedlington which was a new ground for him, and very kindly offered to provide transport for me. The windy conditions were never going to contribute to a classic game of football and whichever side used the wind better were going to benefit and Spennymoor did just that.
I have copied this report from the Terriers web site at http://www.bedlingtonterriersfc.co.uk/
Bedlington Terriers were unable to hold off the determined fightback against visitors Spennymoor Town at Welfare Park on Saturday, conceding a half time lead to lose 3-1. The hosts were required to draft in inexperienced stopper Jonathan Taylor, with regulars Kevin Morton and Gareth Powell both unavailable. With Shandran away playing with Conference North strugglers Blyth Spartans and Scott Bell only fit enough for a place on the bench; it meant Lee Ludlow ploughed a lonely trough up front. Spennymoor were given a golden opportunity to take the lead within 11 minutes of kick off when they were awarded a penalty when one of their players was brought down in the area by rookie keeper Taylor. However, the Bedlington keeper was let off the hook by spot kick taker Richards, who blasted a low shot against the base of the post and the danger was cleared. The same visiting player almost atoned for his earlier miss on the quarter-hour mark when he hit a low drive which Taylor dived full stretch to turn around the post for a brilliant save. The strong wind made it difficult conditions in which to play good football, and the most of the half was played out as a midfield battle, littered with overhit long passes and very little quality on show. The game turned in favour of the Terriers inside the final 5 minutes of the half. When Dodsworth chased down a ball over the top, Spennymoor keeper Lawson was forced to come out of goal to deal with the danger. Worried about handling the ball outside his area, he elected to head the ball clear. Unfortunately for him, his clearance landed at the feet of his namesake and Bedlington skipper Alex Lawson. Quick thinking saw him fire back immediately a lob which sailed over the helpless keeper’s head and into the back of the net. A goal out of nothing perhaps, but much to the delight of the Bedlington faithful. In fact, the Terriers were denied a golden opportunity to double their lead in the final minute of the half, when a cross from the left saw a Spennymoor defender blatantly handle the ball above his head. Incredibly, referee Mr Stalker appeared to miss the contact and waved play on. Lee Ludlow earned a caution as a result of his prolonged protests at the non-decision. A second goal at this point could have proven vital to the hosts in terms of holding on for a win or at least a point, but unfortunately the second half performance was not to live up to expectations as Spennymoor came roaring back at their hosts to bowl them over. Richards finally made up for his penalty miss, 7 minutes after a restart when his inswinging corner caught the wind a flew into the far top corner without any other player touching it on its way in. Once the equaliser came, it felt like it was just a matter of time before the next goal came with Bedlington’s stretched squad offering in the way of attacking threat. Striker Jamie Clarke put the visitors ahead with 20 minutes remaining, beating Taylor to a ball over the top to cannily lob the oncoming keeper. A number of substitutions aside, the game looked likely to peter out before Clarke struck again 4 minutes from time to put the result beyond doubt.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Targets on the road to recovery

I am making slow but sure progress following my laminectomy and fusion operation, 5 weeks down the road. I see the surgeon on March 23 and hope for some good news. Driving is some distance away for me at the moment, but my son-in-law has offered to take me to a game as soon as I feel up to it, so I am targetting the FA Vase semi-final first leg tie between Whitley Bay and Lowestoft Town on March 28 for my reappearance to the footie scene. Realistically, this is a bit of a long shot as I seem to tire very easily. Today, I walked as far as the local branch library, which is about 500 yards from my home and I had to have a sleep when I got back home. Fingers crossed, though!

Monday, 2 March 2009

Ramblings of a retired mind.....

You know, it's amazing - the amount of visitors we receive who, on seeing the cat litter tray say "Oh! Do you have a cat?" - one of these days I will say "Actually, we keep it for visitors" ........

I think I have Furniture Disease - that feeling you get when your chest meets your drawers ........

I was thinking that women should put pictures of missing husbands on beer cans.........

You know, I spent a fortune on deodorant before I realized that people didn't like me anyway........

I was thinking about how a status symbol of today is those mobile phones that everyone has clipped onto their belt or purse. I can't afford one. So, I'm wearing my tv remote.........

An elderly couple is attending Morning Service. About halfway through, the wife leans over and says to her husband, "I just let out a silent one; what do you think I should do?" He replies, "Put a new battery in your hearing aid."

Saturday, 28 February 2009

IF ONLY ............

....... I was recovered from my operation! There is a fascinating programme of games going on today and I can't go to any of 'em. At the top of the list is Whitley Bay v Biggleswade Town in the quarter final of the FA Vase, every Northern League supporter worth his salt must be hoping for Whitley Bay to make further progress and to avoid Marske United in the draw for the semi-final. Marske visit Glossop North End in what is their 6th away tie in 8 this season. It would be great to see two Northern League sides at Wembley.
In the league, their are mouth-watering fixtures in both divisions, with the top-of-the-table clash between Consett and Spennymoor Town possibly having a major influence on which team ultimately becomes league champions.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Post-operation blues

12 days after my operation and 8 days since I was discharged from hospital and already I am suffering withdrawal symptoms from a lack of Northern League footie! It's gonna be a long job and about 6 weeks before I expect to be out and about again.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Billingham Synthonia 3-0 Shildon

Durham County FA Challenge Cup
PTS Stadium
Central Avenue

This was the only one of 9 fixtures to survive on a freezing cold night and I went down the A19 to Central Avenue as an alternative to watching Everton v Liverpool on the telly. I am pleased that I did, because both sides produced a most enjoyable match, which Shildon looked odds-on to win for long periods.
Paul Sigsworth's excellent match report (with a Synners slant) can be found at http://www.synners.co.uk/synners-shildon-4.2.09.shtml
The Shildon version is at http://www.shildonafc.co.uk/BART%20SYNNERS%20DCC.htm

Saturday, 31 January 2009

Jarrow Roofing B.C.A. 1-0 Darlington Railway Athletic

Boldon Community Association Sports Ground,
New Road,
Boldon Colliery,
Co. Durham.

I was all set to go to the Sunderland Nissan v Bedlington Terriers fixture in Division 1, when I heard that the game had been postponed. A quick look at the fixtures suggested I make the relatively short trip to Boldon Colliery, with the Sunderland RCA v Birtley Town fixture as a back-up, just in case.
The game was declared on at 2.00pm and I can't decide whether or not that was a good thing for yours truly! In truth, Roofers took the game to RA straight from the off and it was no surprise when Craig Tate put the Boldon side ahead in the 6th. minute, lofting and curling the ball into the net, just under the bar, from out on the right wing. Some other watchers said it was lucky but I have seen Tate do this before and I think he meant it. The game then settled into a huff-puff affair from both sides, with nothing to distinguish it apart from the antics of Jarrow's Dean Goodwin and RA's Marc Radmore, two big lads who seemed not to like each other very much! The last ten minutes or so saw just about the best of the game, following a couple of RA substitutions, but there was to be no change to the score.
Just think, on a freezing cold day like this was, I could have gone to Asda with the Missus! For the record, Sunderland RCA beat Birtley Town by 3-1 in what has been reported as a decent game.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Spennymoor Town 1-1 Coalville Town (aet) Spennymoor go through after penalties.

FA Vase 4th. Round Replay
The Brewery Field,
Co. Durham.
Spennymoor goalkeeper Keith Finch was a hero at both ends of the park as Moors survived a tense penalty shoot out against Coalville to clinch a place in the last 16 of the FA CarIsberg Vase.
After two hours of football failed to separate the sides in a 1-1 draw, former Darlington keeper Finch saved Coalville's second penalty in the first stage of the shootout before taking his turn to tuck one away - and he was the first to celebrate when Coalville keeper Chris Gibson fired his sudden death kick over the top to put Moors through.
Manager Jason Ainsley said: "At the end of extra time Keith said that he would take the fifth penalty, and I didn't mind because he’s taken penalties before at other clubs and in Sunday matches. He was probably the coolest man on the pitch in the shoot out, and after he saved one penalty, he was deadly with the one he scored. It's a great result for us, but now we know that we've got a very tough game in the next round at Bideford.”
"I always knew that it wasn't going to be easy, because Coalville are a good side, and you've got to feel for them, because it was a case of so near,and yet so far. The lads were brilliant, and the players we brought in because of the injuries were outstanding."
The Leicestershire side had the early edge and went close on a couple of occasions, but Moors improved with Jamie Clarke and Ruddy going close.
Moors thought they were on their way to the next round in extra time when Ruddy cut in from the right and scored with a curler from 25 yards, but Coalville levelled to force spot kicks.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Dunston Federation 5-6 Chalfont St. Peter (after extra time)

FA Carlsberg Vase 4th. Round.
Federation Park,
I love the Vase matches! As the other three remaining Northern League sides were all playing further down the country, this was an easy choice and I certainly was not disappointed! The FA Vase Roadshow was in attendance and I was able to have my photograph taken with the trophy.

Summary by Ray Simpson, freelance reporter, in the Northern Echo: Dunston, who hadn’t lost a league or cup game for four months, unexpectedly came a cropper at home to Chalfont St Peter by the best of eleven in an amazing game.
Dunston weren’t helped by a couple of defensive clangers, and the dismissal of midfielder Stephen Brown in the second half. Manager Perry Briggs said: “They had seven chances and scored six, plus their keeper had a blinder.”
After twice going behind early in the game, Dunston levelled through Mark Sheeran and Andy Bulford, and at the start of the second half they seemed to have gained control when Michael Dixon put them in front. However, Dunston keeper Barry Poskett failed to stop a long distance free kick, and Chalfont then went 4-3 up. Dunston’s Steven Brown was dismissed for two yellows, but Steve Preen forced extra time. Chalfont went ahead again, only for David Wells to level from the spot, but Chalfont broke Dunston’s hearts with a late winner.
More comprehensive reports can be found at http://www.thefed.co.uk/ and http://www.clubwebsite.co.uk/chalfontstpeterafc01/1stteam/match_report.pl?action=report&id=1173434

Thursday, 15 January 2009


I am being admitted to hospital for a laminectomy operation on 9 February 2009, so there will be few updates to this site for a while after that date.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Tow Law Town 2-3 Billingham Synthonia

Durham County FA Challenge Cup 3rd. Round
Ironworks Road
Tow Law
Co. Durham.

I had intended to watch the 2nd Division game Washington v Norton & Stockton Ancients but it had to be postponed due to an arson attack which badly damaged the changing rooms. My next choice was Darlington RA v Crook Town but that was postponed due to the state of the playing surface during the afternoon. So I decided to spend a freezing evening at one of the highest and coldest football grounds in the whole of the civilized world! I am pleased with my final choice as I met up with a lot of people I know and the game itself was quite good.
Item of interest: Tow Law is about 980 feet above sea level -the highest football ground in England, though, is at Silverlands, home to Buxton FC, which is more than 1,000 feet above sea level - but that's nothing compared to the real altitude-busters in central and south America.
The Azteca Stadium in Mexico City stands at 7,000 feet above sea level, while the daddy of them all, the National Stadium in the Bolivian capital La Paz, is a breath-sapping 8,500 feet above sea level.
I have copied Paul Sigsworth's excellent report from the Synners' web site at http://www.synners.co.uk/

Tow Law Town 2, Billingham Synthonia 3
Durham Challenge Cup 3rd Round
Synthonia travelled to Tow Law and made two changes from the starting eleven that drew with Ryton. David Barnes returned at left-back, with Jason Honeyman making his first start since returning to Billingham from Guisborough Town.
A free-kick inside the first two minutes from David Yale was aimed towards James Magowan, but Lawyers keeper Simon Bishop caught easily. The home side then forced a couple of corners with the second one seeing an effort go just wide of the upright.
Tow Law opened the scoring in the 10th minute. ANDY JOHNSON received the ball to the left of goal, and produced a fine finish as he placed his shot past Synners keeper Ben Escritt.
Billingham advanced down the right flank in the 16th minute as Colin Iley and Honeyman exchanged passes. Iley attempted to drive the ball across the face of goal but saw his cross go wide.
The home side had a great chance to extend their lead in the 22nd minute when Lee Hamilton latched onto a ball over the top of the Synthonia rearguard. His shot however, went wide of the upright.
Hamilton again came close in the 26th minute when a cross from the left flank saw him head inches wide of the post. The hosts continued to create the better openings and just a minute later Mark Eccles found space to the left of goal, but he shot well wide of the target.
Synners came back in the 31st minute as Honeyman took advantage of the defence backing off to carry the ball towards the Lawyers goal. He shot from 25 yards but Bishop made a comfortable save. Then two minutes later, an Iley corner from the left was swung in and struck the near post.
Synthonia's best chance of the half came in the 39th minute. James Magowan threaded the ball through for Iley to go one on one with the keeper. He attempted to go round Bishop, giving the stopper chance to get a hand on the ball and thwart the opportunity.
Half-time: Tow Law 1, Synners 0
In the 55th minute the hosts won a free-kick in a good position from 20 yards. Hamilton's effort however was straight at the Billingham wall and was eventually cleared.
Synners then attacked down the left two minutes later as Iley laid the ball wide to Honeyman. His cross was almost inch perfect to Michael Cater but Stephen Hutt rose well and headed to safety. Tow Law counter attacked, and a long range effort seemed to be sneaking into the net before Escritt produced a top quality save as he tipped the ball onto the cross-bar and smothered it under pressure.
The Lawyers again opened up the Billingham defence in the 59th minute, Johnson's defence splitting pass found Hamilton through on goal, but his shot was straight at Escritt.
Synthonia levelled in the 62nd minute. A Yale corner from the right fell into a group of players, and TOMMY MARRON reacted quickest as he prodded the ball home from close range.
Billingham almost took the lead in the 66th minute when another Yale corner from the right, this time aimed at the back post, saw Cater head inches wide of the post.
Synners continued their momentum, and after 72 minutes Iley and Magowan combined, with Magowan producing a great shot that brought out a fantastic save from Bishop. A minute later and Craig Perry picked out Iley on the right. His cross found the head of Magowan but the ball was straight into the arms of Bishop.
The visitors eventually took the lead in the 78th minute. The Tow Law defence backed off as Yale carried the ball into the penalty area. He was then brought down by a defender and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot. JAMES MAGOWAN stepped up and rifled his spot kick to the left and into the net.
Billingham extended the lead in the 85th minute as Tow Law pushed up in search of a leveller. A ball forward saw COLIN ILEY beat the offside trap and in on goal with only the advancing Bishop to beat. The keeper momentarily stopped the chance, but Iley picked up the loose ball and slotted it into an empty net.
Bishop was called into action again two minutes later as Synthonia continued to press. This time it was substitute Mark Casey's long range shot that almost found the net before the Lawyers keeper palmed the ball onto the woodwork.
Tow Law pulled a goal back in the 89th minute when a corner from the right saw RICHARD LANGTHORNE glance his header into the back of the net to give the hosts a lifeline.
The Lawyers pushed up in search of a late equaliser, but the last goal scoring opportunity fell to Synners as substitute Danny Fowler broke clear and advanced on goal. He then unselfishly squared to the un-marked Magowan, but the striker's shot went wide of the target.
Teams: TOW LAW TOWN: Simon Bishop, Matthew Gowland (Anthony March), Darren Hollingsworth, Gavin Mudd (Adam Nicholls), Stephen Hutt, Richard Langthorne, Chrisopher Renshaw, Kraig Wilkinson, Lee Hamilton, Darren Johnson, Mark Eccles(c). Subs not used; Robert Shields, Luke Sullivan, Philip Maguire.
BILLINGHAM SYNTHONIA: Ben Escritt, Adam Clough, David Barnes (Mark Casey), Michael Cater, Thomas Marron, David Abel(c), David Yale, Craig Perry, James Magowan, Colin Iley, Jason Honeyman (Daniel Fowler). Subs not used; Simon Shaw, Michael Jameson, Joel Guy.

Referee: Mr D Swainston

Saturday, 10 January 2009


The Northern League was completely frozen today, not a single game played due to the pitches being frostbound.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Bishop Auckland 1-4 Dunston Federation

Northern League Division 1
(West Auckland AFC)
Darlington Road
West Auckland
Co. Durham
This report taken from the Bishop Auckland web site at http://www.bishopafc.com/
An explosive start with an early corner for Bishops and as Richards flag kick was deflected out Barton fired it back goalwards, but Poskett pushed it over the bar for another corner.

The second corner was cleared and from the break Bishops defence was stretched to breaking point allowing Sheeran a simple tap-in for 1-0. A minute later and Bishops still shellshocked defence rocked again and the prolific Bulford finished with ease to make it 2-0.

The remainder of the first half passed without any real incident. Porter had little to do for the remainder of the half, and on the two occasions that Poskett dropped the ball he was helped out by his defence, in the first instance, and the referee in the second.

Gus Di Lella replaced the still not match fit Kyle Anderson at half time.

Bishops dominated early possession in the second half and on 53 minutes Amar Purewal picked up a ball over the top and beat Poskett with his shot, only for it to be cleared from just in front of the goalline by a Federation defender.

On 68 minutes the game looked over when Michael Dixon made it 3-0 with another simple finish from an unmarked player in the box. On 75 minutes Porter made a good save with his legs to keep the scoreline down.

A free-kick for Bishops on 76 minutes was swung in from just over the half way line by Dixon and Arjun Purewal got in the header which beat Poskett at the near post to make it 3-1.

Dunston responded immediately through substitute John Clark to make the final score 1-4.
Bishop Auckland: Chris Porter, Lee Foster, Kyle Anderson (Gus DiLella 45), Kevin Dixon, Arjun Purewal, Steven West, Stephen Salvin, Scott Richards, Gavin Barton, Gavin Parkin, Amar Purewal (Adam Strong 62)
Dunston Federation: Barry Poskett, Steven Pickering, David Wells, Michael Robson, Ben Cattanach, Kane Young, Fergal Harkin, Michael Dixon, Mark Sheeran (Steven Preen 35), Andrew Bulford, Steven Brown (John Clark 70).

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