About Me

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Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom
I am a Northern League supporter without a club to favour and double as a sometime genealogist who has researched his family tree back to the early 1600's, compiling a file of individual relatives totalling just over 3,000 names. I have been happily married to Maureen for 49 years. We have 1 son, 3 daughters, 14 grandchildren, 2 great-grandchildren, and absolutely no money!

Saturday, 29 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.