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, 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).