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!

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.