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, 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.