Chester-le-Street Town vs Easington Colliery

Colliers held to draw at Chester-le-Street

Easington Colliery were held to a 1-1 draw away to Chester-le-Street Town on Saturday afternoon.

Chris Stephenson put the hosts head in the 40th minute, and it took the Colliers until the 75th minute to equalise through Liam Adamson.

The Green Army pushed for a winner late on, but the points were shared.

Craig Hughes and Stuart Niven opted for an unchanged side from last week’s 5-1 win over Newcastle University, but new signing Tom Bott and Kyle Middleton took spots on the bench.

Upon kick-off, the Colliers created a big chance within four minutes. Josh Home-Jackson drove forward and picked out Simon Todd who helped it onto Jack Pounder. He played Adamson in, but Adamson’s effort was scuffed and saved by Regan Ward.

Chris Pearson then fired just wide, before Shane O’Brien was inches away from converting Todd’s corner.

As the game settled down, the Colliers were the livelier, but a spell of few chances followed.

Halfway through the first half, Jonathan Pearson and Adamson both had efforts crucially blocked for the Colliers, before Chester-le-Street dealt with a couple of corners.

Chester-le-Street’s first noteworthy effort came in the 25th minute. Andrew Clarkson turned on the edge of the penalty area, but his shot was fired well over.

At the other end, Pounder had an effort crucially blocked.

In the 31st minute, the Colliers had Brennan Ball to thank. Chester-le-Street worked the ball into Michael Hepplewhite, but Brennan Ball’s outstanding challenge denied Hepplewhite of a chance.

Home-Jackson, Jonathan Pearson and O’Brien all then went close for the Colliers.

However, five minutes before the break, against the run of play, Chester-le-Street broke the deadlock. Owen Henderson’s cross picked out Stephenson, and his diving header from eight yards nestled into the net.

The goal was a real sucker punch, but the Colliers came out for the second half looking to create more chances.

Todd fired just wide in the 49th minute, and Pounder’s header after good work by Rhys Turnbull was saved five minutes later.

Bott was introduced in the 55th minute to make his debut, and he was involved in a few moves.

Home-Jackson had another effort saved 13 minutes into the second half, before an Easington corner just needed the slightest of touches but it didn’t happen.

Chances were at a premium for the hosts in the second half, and Harrison Scott fired wide with a rushed effort when they did create a chance.

Bott then fired over as he looked for a debut goal for the Colliers, before both Chris Pearson and Home-Jackson failed to test Ward in the Cestrians’ goal.

Having continually pushed, the Colliers finally equalised in the 75th minute. Bott’s low cross found Pounder who helped it onto Adamson, and he blasted the ball into the net from close-range.

Inside the final 10 minutes, Home-Jackson had an effort crucially blocked, before Henderson fired harmlessly wide for Chester-le-Street.

Substitute Kyle Middleton then went close for the Colliers, before the hosts went up the other end and won a corner only for it to come to nothing.

The rarest of rare goalscorers then went close in the 87th minute for Easington. A cross was cleared as far as Ball, and he connected perfectly with a low effort but it darted just wide of the far bottom corner.

Home-Jackson was next to shoot with a good chance with two minutes to play, but his effort trickled narrowly wide.

That proved to be that, and the points were shared in a hard-fought game.

Full-time: Chester-le-Street Town 1-1 Easington Colliery

Next up for me is Durham Women vs London City Lionesses tomorrow.

Chester-le-Street Town: Ward, Scott (Fingleton, 63′), Thirlaway, Blackbourne (Greaves, 33′), Daniel Hepplewhite, Walker (c), MacDougall, Stephenson, Michael Hepplewhite, Clarkson (Collins, 72′), Henderson

Unused subs: Connor, Coombes

Easington Colliery: Lawrence, Ball, Turnbull, Chris Pearson (c) (Dunn, 77′), Crathorne, O’Brien, Todd, Jonathan Pearson (Bott, 55′), Pounder, Home-Jackson, Adamson (Middleton, 76′)

Unused subs: Garside, Brown

Admission: £5 adults, £3 concessions

Programme: £1

Attendance: 129

Referee: Kirk Freeth

Carlisle United vs Cardiff City

When these two sides drew a week gone Saturday meaning there would be a replay, me, Steven Batey and Rory Drake all thought it was potentially a game to do. Newcastle United vs Rochdale was also a potential game, and it worked perfectly when they were on different nights. A game like this is something totally different to what I’d normally do midweek. After going to the Newcastle game last night, we met in Sunderland late this afternoon and Steven drove us over to Carlisle. Following quite a bit of traffic on the A1, we got to Brunton Park around 20 minutes before kick-off. My only ever prior visit to Carlisle United came on Boxing Day 2012. I was in the away end with Hartlepool and Carlisle won 3-0.

Since I started keeping track of my games, I’ve never watched Cardiff City’s first team. I watched Cardiff City Women a couple of years ago at Durham, but they aren’t affiliated with the men’s team (a different Cardiff City Women who play in the Welsh league are). I watched Cardiff City under-23s at Sunderland in January 2017, but that’s all the association I have with Cardiff. I probably have seen them at Sunderland when I had a season ticket there, but I don’t have a full list of those games. As for Carlisle, I watched them at Sunderland in the Checkatrade Trophy in October 2018, and I watched their Park View Academy team a couple of months before that. Prior to that, I watched them at Hartlepool on Good Friday 2017, and the time before that was at Sunderland in the FA Cup in January 2014. Having done Newcastle United vs Rochdale last night and this game tonight, I’ve watched a team from every division of the Football League (Premier League, Championship, League One and League Two) in just over 26 hours!

To be honest, tonight was possibly the most enjoyable game I’ve been to this season. It was a good journey over, the ground is lovely, and it was a cracking game.

I’ve always known Brunton Park is a good ground, but I seemed to appreciate it more tonight. We were in the Warwick Road Stand behind the goal, and it’s a very traditional terrace. The dugout side is also very nice and traditional, and the big modern stand opposite actually works well. It’s definitely my favourite of all the Football League grounds I’ve been to.

To the game, and what a thriller it was.

Cardiff had a few early corners, but Carlisle broke the deadlock in just the seventh minute. A long throw down the line found Hallam Hope who managed to keep the ball in play by pulling it back. In doing so, he picked out Nathan Thomas 18 yards from goal and the former Hartlepool United man curled a first time effort into the far corner.

Just over 10 minutes later, Cardiff were level. Will Vaulks’ long throw found Aden Flint and he flicked a header into the far corner.

Both sides had chances as the first half wore on, and there was an unusually large number of corners.

Flint went close to a second for the visitors, while Callum Paterson also had an effort saved.

In the 37th minute, Carlisle almost regained their lead. Stefan Scougall picked out Harry McKirdy whose 30-yard power drive bounced back off the woodwork with Alex Smithies beaten.

Carlisle would be made to pay as Cardiff took the lead just before the break. Joe Ralls lifted a ball to the back post where Flint headed it back across. A Carlisle man partially cleared it, but it fell to Josh Murphy who connected sweetly with a volley to find the bottom corner.

Following the break, Cardiff doubled their lead in the 48th minute. Ralls’ corner found a way to the back post, and Flint bundled the ball into the net from close range for this second of the evening.

Just as it looked as though Cardiff were taking control, Carlisle halved the deficit in the 51st minute. Thomas’ good work gave him room to cross, and his dinked ball found McKirdy at the back post whose first time volley bounced up into the roof of the net.

Still only in the 57th minute, a third goal in 12 second half minutes saw Cardiff regain their two-goal cushion. A long free-kick was flicked on by Paterson to find Danny Ward. Inside the penalty area, the former Huddersfield Town man turned to find an inch of room before drilling a clinical effort into the far bottom corner.

Again though, Carlisle responded, and this time, it was a superb goal to once again half the deficit. Hope was fouled in a wide position and he passed to McKirdy in a very quickly taken free-kick. The quick free-kick had caught Cardiff out, and McKirdy curled an exceptional effort into the far top corner from an acute angle.

Carlisle pushed for an equaliser in the final 25 minutes, and they did have chances, but they didn’t really test Smithies.

Cardiff saw the game out well, and they could have grabbed a fifth deep into injury time when Ralls forced a good save from Adam Collin.

It didn’t matter though as the referee’s final whistle meant Cardiff booked their spot in the fourth round where they’ll face a trip to Reading.

Full-time: Carlisle United 3-4 Cardiff City

Next up for me is Chester-le-Street Town vs Easington Colliery on Saturday.

Carlisle United: Collin (c), Gethin Jones, Webster, Mellish (Olomola, 81′), Iredale, Scougall (Loft, 67′), Watt, Mike Jones (Charters, 87′), Thomas, Hope, McKirdy

Unused subs: Gray, Bridge, Knight-Percival, Sagaf

Cardiff City: Smithies, Flint, Bamba (c), Coxe (Bennett, 70′), Richards, Ralls, Vaulks, Murphy, Whyte (Pack, 83′), Ward, Paterson

Unused subs: Day, Glatzel, Nelson, Bogle, Hoilett

Admission: £15 adults, £12 concessions, £8 under 16s

Programme: Sold out presumably. No one was at the selling trolley

Attendance: 4,381 (348 from Cardiff)

Hot dog and bottle of Pepsi Max: £4.50

Referee: Darren Handley

Newcastle United vs Rochdale

Although they’re only about 20 miles away, I’ve never seen a first team game at St James’ Park. My only visits past visits to St James’ Park have been two Youth Cup games and a visit to watch rugby when the stadium hosted the Magic Weekend a couple of years ago. According to my past records, I’ve never watched Newcastle’s first team! I think I saw them at Hartlepool pre-season, but that may have been before I started keeping track. I’ve definitely seen them play Sunderland at the Stadium of Light but that was probably 10 years ago now. A few of the lads at University mentioned this game, and with it being cheaper and because I’ve never been to a first team game at St James’ Park, I opted for it. In the end, it was a very good choice as every other game in the north east tonight was called off! As for Rochdale, I watched them in the Checkatrade Trophy at Hartlepool in November 2016. I remember that game well because the attendance was less than 400! Before that, I watched them win in January 2014, again at Hartlepool.

Tonight’s game was the first game I’ve been to that had VAR. Thankfully it wasn’t needed. I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m totally against the use of VAR. For me, the referee’s decision is part of football whether you agree with his decision or not. And, some of VAR’s use since it was first suggested has been farcical. To some degree, it can also spoil the flow of a game. If it was up to me, I’d get rid of it straight away. Mind, I would never have given it a chance in the first place! As there are plenty of reports out there, I’ll just give a quick overview of this game rather than a full report.

Upon kick-off, Newcastle took control and created chances from the off. The woodwork denied Miguel Almirón shortly after another Almirón had gone wide, while Jimmy Keohane had a chance go wide for Rochdale.

In the 17th minute, Newcastle broke the deadlock. Matt Ritchie whipped a teasing cross into the penalty area. Eoghan O’Connell, knowing it had to be dealt with, attempted to cut it out, but he could only divert the ball into his own net.

Three minutes later, Newcastle doubled their lead. Again, Ritchie was the provider as his cross fell kindly to Matty Longstaff who had plenty of time to tuck the ball into the net.

Still only in the 26th minute, Newcastle added a third. Good pressing forced Rochdale to go back to goalkeeper Robert Sánchez. His attempted pass was totally misplaced and fell straight to Almirón who kept his composure before drilling the ball into the net.

Shortly after, it was almost four. Good work by Christian Atsu saw him pull the ball back to Emil Krafth whose flicked effort was narrowly too high.

Although Newcastle were well on top, Rochdale were creating a couple of chances. A corner fell kindly to Aaron Wilbraham in the penalty area, but his shot was too high.

Joelinton and Florian Lejeune both tried their luck for the Magpies as the first half came to an end, while Keohane fired over for Rochdale.

Early in the second half, Rochdale’s Jimmy Ryan connected superbly with a partially cleared cross, but his volley was narrowly too high.

Newcastle were more relaxed in the second half, and it allowed the visitors to get a few shots away. Callum Camps forced a save from Karl Darlow, before Stephen Dooley headed over.

Isaac Hayden then tried his luck for Newcastle, before substitute Jonjo Shelvey fired narrowly wide after good build up play.

In the 82nd minute, Newcastle scored a fourth. Tom Allan burst down the wing and played a low ball into the penalty area to find Joelinton who slotted home.

That wasn’t it though, as Rochdale scored a consolation in the 86th minute. A cross dropped to Wilbraham at the back post and he teed up Jordan Williams whose effort hit the inside of the post before nestling into the net.

There was still time for Newcastle to almost score a fifth. Good work by Joelinton won possession and he picked out Andy Carroll. The former England international took aim, and his effort bounced back off the angle between the post and crossbar.

Full-time: Newcastle United 4-1 Rochdale

Next up for me is Carlisle United vs Cardiff City tomorrow.

Newcastle United: Darlow, Ritchie (Shelvey, 69′), Krafth, Lascelles (c) (Allan, 57′), Lejeune, Matty Longstaff, Sean Longstaff, Hayden, Atsu, Joelinton, Almirón (Carroll, 62′)

Unused subs: Clark, Elliot, Willems, Fernández

Rochdale: Sánchez (Lynch, 46′), Matherson, Williams, O’Connell, Norrington-Davies (Tavares, 69′), Ryan, Keohane, Dooley, Camps (Andrew, 79′), Henderson (c), Wilbraham

Unused subs: Baah, Bradley, Gillam, Brierley

Admission: £10 adults, £5 concessions (double if bought on the day)

Attendance: 29,786

Programme: £3

Hot dog ‘deal’ (hot dog, wedges and bottle of Coke): £9.70 (not much of a deal!)

Referee: Graham Scott

Sunderland U23s vs West Bromwich Albion U23s

Looking back on past years, the 13th of January is quite a popular day for me. On this day last year, I was at both Sunderland Ladies 10-1 Bradford City Women and Durham Women 2-2 Aston Villa Ladies. Two years ago, on the 13th January, I was at Easington Colliery 1-4 Jarrow FC, and, on this day in 2015, I was at Billingham Town 2-1 Chester-Le-Street Town. With me having games Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday being Easington, Sunday being Durham Women where I have a season ticket and Tuesday and Wednesday both being pre-booked, if I was going to miss one of the games, it would have been tonight. The only time I’ve watched any side related to West Brom was this fixture last season in September 2018. It finished 2-1 to Sunderland that night. This game tonight was my 94th of the season and that puts me four ahead of where I was at this point last season. With games both tomorrow and Wednesday, I should be six ahead come Wednesday night.

Match report:

West Brom U23s cruise to victory at Sunderland

West Brom under-23s cruised to a 0-4 victory away to Sunderland on Monday night.

Rayhaan Tulloch scored a brace for the visitors, while Zak Brown and Finn Azaz were also both on the scoresheet in a comprehensive win for the Baggies.

The win sees West Brom consolidate their spot in third place, while Sunderland remain rooted to the bottom with just one point from 15 games.

It was one-way traffic from the off. West Brom were in full control, with the vast majority of early possession and plenty of chances.

Callum Morton and Tulloch both had efforts well saved by Anthony Patterson in the opening quarter of an hour, before Brown, Stanley Asomugha and Azaz all had efforts blocked.

Having dominated the opening exchanges on a heavy pitch, the visitors broke the deadlock in the 27th minute. A ball through the middle gave the visitors half a chance, and poor defending ensured the ball fell to Brown who tucked the ball home.

Although it was only slight, Sunderland did respond. A couple of difficult balls into the West Brom penalty area were aimed at Connor Slack, but he could only flick wide on both occasions.

Shortly after, a dangerous free-kick gave Sunderland an opportunity, but Jake Hackett’s effort hit the wall.

Morton almost doubled West Brom’s lead shortly before the break when he raced through, but his high effort bounced back off the crossbar.

However, in first half added time, they did double their lead. Superb work in his own half by Dan Meredith won possession and his fine ball down the line gave the Baggies a chance. They worked the ball nicely over to Tulloch, and he slotted home.

Following the break, it took the visitors less than three minutes to score a third. Another quick attack found Brown whose effort was blocked, but the ball fell to Tulloch who was on hand to slot the ball into the net.

As the second half wore on, West Brom could have added a few further goals, but a combination of good goalkeeping and poor accuracy kept the score at just three.

Nathan Greenwood did have one chance for Sunderland, but that was all they offered.

In the 82nd minute, West Brom added a fourth. The visitors broke forward in numbers, and Peter Taylor teed up Azaz who made no mistake.

With the points gone, Sunderland created their best chance late on. They worked the ball into Benji Kimpioka in the penalty area, but he failed to find the target from eight yards.

Full-time: Sunderland U23s 0-4 West Bromwich Albion U23s

Next up for me is Newcastle United vs Rochdale tomorrow.

Sunderland U23s: Patterson, Gamble, Taylor, Bainbridge, Kokolo, Greenwood, Sammut, Hackett, Dunne (Kimpioka, 46′), Mumba, Slack (Foster, 69′)

Unused subs: Abdelkader, Connolly, Collins

West Bromwich Albion U23s: Griffiths, Meredith, Shotton, Healey, Harmon, Asomugha, Azaz (Solanke, 83′), Wilding, Tulloch, Brown (Williams, 72′), Morton (Taylor, 72′)

Unused subs: Dyce, White

Admission: £3 adults, £1 concessions

Programme: No

Attendance: About 140

Teamsheet: None left

Referee: Lewis Smith

Durham Women vs Leicester City Women

Because I missed the Lewes game, it has been a while since I’ve watched Durham Women. It’s almost two months in fact with the last time being when they hosted Sheffield United Women on a Thursday night on the 21st of November. This coming week is looking rather busy for me. After a game yesterday and this today, I’ll probably be at Sunderland U23s vs West Bromwich Albion U23s tomorrow night. I’ll definitely be at Newcastle United vs Rochdale on Tuesday night (it’ll be my first ever first team game at St James’ Park) and then I’ll be making a trip west to take in Carlisle United vs Cardiff City on Wednesday night. It’ll be five consecutive days of doing games come Wednesday night. I’ll then have a couple of days with no game, before games Saturday, Sunday and Monday next weekend.

Match report:

Durham Women grind out win over Leicester

Durham Women kicked off 2020 with a narrow 1-0 win at home to Leicester City Women on Sunday afternoon.

Molly Sharpe’s 31st minute goal proved the difference between the sides, and the result sees Durham maintain their pressure on Sheffield United and Aston Villa at the top of the league.

Hannah Greenwood started for the Wildcats, and Eleanor Dale came off the bench to make her debut.

Following a cagey start, Durham almost broke the deadlock with their first chance in the ninth minute. Abby Holmes burst down the wing before sending a low cross towards the near post. Beth Hepple managed to stab a ball towards goal, but Nat Johnson cleared off the line.

Three minutes later, the visitors created their first chance. A loose ball in the centre of the park gifted Leicester possession, and it was worked into Holly Morgan. She got a shot away, but it lacked power and direction and trickled wide.

Sarah Robson and Sharpe both had half chances for Durham as they looked to take control, before Paige Bailey-Gayle fired straight at Megan Borthwick for Leicester.

Just after the half hour mark, Durham scored the decisive goal. Sharpe stole possession from a defender on the halfway line and drove towards goal as Leicester goalkeeper Demi Lambourne came charging out. Sharpe managed to take the ball away from Lambourne, and she slotted the ball into an empty net from 30 yards.

Sharpe had a couple of further chances as the first half wore on, but the lead was only one at the break.

Following the break, Abby Holmes had an early effort well saved, and Kathryn Hill headed wide from the resulting corner.

Good defending from Becky Salicki denied the Leicester as they looked to create chance, while Hepple fired narrowly wide at the other end.

Chances were somewhat few and far between in the second half. Hepple forced a couple of comfortable saves from Lambourne, but that was about it until the 75th minute when Leicester’s Morgan had a header saved by Borthwick.

Sharpe went close to her second for the Wildcats in the 79th minute, and that was about it until Leicester created their final chance in the 87th minute. They worked the ball into Libby Smith, but her effort was denied by Borthwick’s quick save.

The visitors pushed forward late on, but they couldn’t create any chances and Durham claimed the points.

Full-time: Durham Women 1-0 Leicester City Women

Next up for me is probably Sunderland U23s vs West Bromwich Albion U23s tomorrow.

Durham Women: Borthwick, Holmes, Christon, Salicki, Hill, Robson, Greenwood (Cox, 85′), Hepple (c), Sharpe (Manders, 89′), Gears, Achterhof (Dale, 67′)

Unused subs: Reid, Weithofer

Leicester City Women: Lambourne, Johnson, Morgan (c), Cataldo, Devlin, Paul, James, Thomas, Bailey-Gayle, Brown (Blanchard, 64′), Rutherford (Smith, 72′)

Unused subs: Field, Everett, Atkinson, Camwell

Admission: £6 adults, £3 concessions

Programme: £2

Attendance: 502

Referee: Emily Carney

Easington Colliery vs Newcastle University

Colliers hit Newcastle University for five

Easington Colliery claimed their first win of 2020 with an impressive 5-1 win over Newcastle University at the Welfare Park on Saturday afternoon.

In very difficult conditions, Josh Home-Jackson, Jonathan Pearson, Simon Todd, Chris Pearson and Jake Dunn were all on the scoresheet for the Colliers.

Jonathan Pearson and Adam Crathorne both made their debuts for the Green Army, with Jonathan Pearson accompanying Chris Pearson and Todd in midfield, while Crathorne slotted in at centre back alongside Shane O’Brien.

Stephen Pennington was on the scoresheet for the visitors.

The recent weather had left the Welfare Park pitch in an unusually difficult condition, and the relentless wind made conditions even more difficult.

Upon kick-off, it was a quiet start, but the Green Army took the lead with their first chance in the seventh minute. Brennan Ball, back in the starting XI after a couple of injuries, scooped a perfectly weighted dinked ball over the of the defence to put Home-Jackson in. He did well to take control, and he charged down on goal before slotting home.

Three minutes later, it could have been two-nil. Chris Pearson played Liam Adamson in on goal, but he tried to chip it over the goalkeeper who did enough to save.

Two minutes later, Adamson had another big chance, but goalkeeper Daniel Dekanski once again saved.

Todd then had an effort saved for the Green Army.

The Colliers had the wind on their side in the first half, and they looked to take full advantage of it.

A deep corner caused all sorts of trouble for the visitors in the 16th minute, with Crathorne, Jack Pounder and Home-Jackson all having efforts blocked or saved before Dekanski made the ball his.

In the 19th minute, the visitors had their first chance as a loose pass in the middle gifted them possession. They worked the ball into Joel Feirn, but his shot was well saved by Alex Lawrence.

Shortly after, the Green Army doubled their lead. Home-Jackson and Adamson were involved in the build up as a ball was played across the edge of the penalty area to find Jonathan Pearson. He took a touch before curling a composed side-footed effort into the far bottom corner.

Shouts for an Easington penalty were then turned down after a ball struck a Newcastle University hand, before the Colliers, firmly in control, settled the game down.

Three minutes before the break, a poor clearance from the Newcastle University goalkeeper in a wide position fell straight to Todd. With the ‘keeper not between his posts, Todd took aim with a first time shot, but it was crucially blocked.

Following the break, the University looked to take full advantage of having the wind and had a good 10 minute spell. The Colliers were pegged into their own half at this point, but other than one shot being well saved by Lawrence, they weren’t creating much.

On the hour mark, the Colliers regained control despite being against the wind. Jonathan Pearson headed a Simon Todd free-kick narrowly wide, before Pounder had an effort blocked.

Newcastle University did have the ball in the net in the 64th minute, but it was ruled out for offside.

Halfway through the second half, the Colliers had a massive chance to extend their lead. Chris Pearson’s clever ball played Pounder in, but he couldn’t keep his effort down.

And, a minute later, the visitors halved the deficit. The ball was worked to Pennington on the edge of the penalty area who connected well with a drilled effort to half the deficit.

However, just six minutes later, the Colliers regained their two goal cushion. Home-Jackson was cynically fouled in the penalty area giving the referee no option but to point to the spot. Todd took responsibility and sent the ‘keeper the wrong way.

Sixty seconds later, it was four-one. Pounder’s perfectly timed through ball played skipper Chris Pearson in and he charged down on goal before rounding Dekanski and slotting the ball into the net.

The Colliers weren’t content with four four. In the 88th minute, seconds after his had an effort cleared off the line, Dunn scored the Green Army’s fifth. Home-Jackson drilled a teasing low ball across the six-yard box, and substitute Dunn was on hand to turn the ball into the net.

Full-time: Easington Colliery 5-1 Newcastle University

Next up for me is Durham Women vs Leicester City Women tomorrow.

Easington Colliery: Lawrence, Ball, Turnbull, Chris Pearson (c), Crathorne, O’Brien, Todd, Jonathan Pearson (Dunn, 77′), Pounder, Home-Jackson, Adamson (Southern, 59′)

Unused subs: Garside, Brown, Goodman

Newcastle University: Dekanski, Redford, Christie, Pennington, Atkin, Robinson (c), Neill, Robertson (Long, 64′), Romano (Alambritis, 46′), Feirn, Douglas

Unused subs: Hammett, Bennett, Backhouse

Admission: £5 adults, £2 concessions

Programme: £1.50

Attendance: 63

Referee: Evan Culling

Sunderland RCA vs Ashington

There are probably around 10 Northern League teams I don’t watch each season. It’s never a thing based on choice; it’s just how the games fall. I’m always bound to watch every team in the second division, and I’ll watch around half (maybe a few more of the First Division teams). That leaves 10 or less I won’t watch each season. So, you would have thought I would have watched every team in the past two seasons. Ashington are an exception. I haven’t watched Ashington since early September 2017 when they hosted Easington in the FA Vase. Prior to that, it was early April 2015 when I watched them. North Shields, Newcastle Benfield, Guisborough Town, Whitley Bay, Penrith and Whickham are the only teams in the First Division I haven’t watched them season so far, and I possibly will still watch some of them before the season is over. Willington and Brandon United are the only teams in the Second Division so far, but I definitely will see both of them against Easington.

Match report:

Sunderland RCA hit Ashington for five

Ten-man Sunderland RCA scored five goals in 17 second half minutes as they claimed a 5-1 win at home to Ashington on Wednesday night.

Ashington took the lead through Kieran Brannen in the 33rd minute, but five goals in less than 17 minutes at the start of the second half put Sunderland RCA firmly in control.

Mark Davison collected a brace for RCA, while Carl Lawson, Dylan Elliott, Nathan O’Neill were all also on the scoresheet.

Greg Swansbury was sent off late on for the hosts, but the three points had already been secured.

Upon kick-off, Sunderland RCA started well, and a deep cross in the sixth minute found Kyle Davis at the back post. He took aim with a first time side footed effort, but Adam McHugh got down quickly to save.

Callum Johnston then had an effort saved for Ashington, before another good Davis effort for RCA was saved by McHugh.

On the quarter of an hour mark, Davis was involved again. This time he looked to tee up a chance with a teasing ball across the face of goal, but no RCA men were able to get on the end of it when only a slight touch was needed.

With 20 minutes on the clock, David Luke fired over for the visitors with a dipping half volley, before Davison glanced O’Neill’s pinpoint cross wide at the other end.

In the 33rd minute, against the run of play, Ashington took the lead. The ball was worked to Brannen in the centre of the park and he dribbled through two RCA defenders before a confident finish found the net.

That proved to be that for the first half, and despite being second best, Ashington went into the break ahead.

However, just 75 seconds into the second half, Sunderland RCA equalised. A cross into the near post was spilled by McHugh, and former Sunderland man Lawson was quickest to react to bundle the ball into the net.

There was an immediate response from Ashington though. Promising build up play found Brennan, but his shot was saved.

However, still only in the 49th minute, RCA took the lead. Davison whipped an inviting cross into the penalty area to find Elliott, and his pinpoint glancing header picked out the far bottom corner.

And, another three minutes later, their lead was doubled. Davison was fouled on the edge of the penalty area and he dusted himself down to take responsibility. The former Washington man picked his spot and curled a lovely effort over the wall and into the near top corner.

RCA looked to have a fourth in the 58th minute when a powerful header found the corner, but it was ruled offside.

However, they would only have to wait a further minute to find a fourth goal. Ross McNab drilled a ball through the centre of the park and bypassed everyone. The Ashington defence stopped with the hope that it was going through to their ‘keeper, but O’Neill took full advantage by latching onto the ball and finishing well.

In the 62nd minute, RCA scored their fifth in less than 17 minutes. A low ball was drilled into the Ashington penalty area, and a lack of communication meant it wasn’t cleared. The ball fell kindly to Davison, and he was able to blast into an empty net.

With RCA now in full control, the game settled down.

Johnston had a good chance for the visitors in the 68th minute, but he could only shoot wide.

Following a quiet spell, RCA were reduced to 10 men as Swansbury was sent off for a strong challenge on Lewis Robson in the 76th minute. Robson couldn’t continue, and with Ashington having already used their three subs, both sides finished the game with 10 men.

Half chances came at both ends in the final 10 minutes, but no further goals were scored and Sunderland RCA claimed the three points.

Full-time: Sunderland RCA 5-1 Ashington

Next up for me is Easington Colliery vs Newcastle University on Saturday.

Sunderland RCA: Dean, Allen, McNab, Preston (Clayton Davis, 38′), Swansbury (c), Best, O’Neill (Moan, 83′), Lawson, Davison, Kyle Davis, Elliott (Leonard, 73′)

Unused subs: Ezard, Hennis

Ashington: McHugh, Gibson (Kalthoeber, 61′), Gaffney, Edwards, Coppen (c), Bramley, Luke, Ross (Biwer, 46′), Johnston, Brennan (Robson, 73′), Slater

Unused subs: Williamson, Scott

Admission: £6 adults, £4 concessions

Programme: 50p

Attendance: 126

Referee: Matthew East