Hartlepool United vs Exeter City

With having games Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, if I was going to miss a game, it would have been tonight. I had thought about giving it a miss, but when offered a lift I opted for it. I’ll be at games tomorrow and Thursday, and then I’m down in Leeds on Friday before Easington on Saturday. It’s quite busy! The two occasions I have watched Exeter have been quite momentous games. The first time I watched Exeter at Hartlepool was when I was in the press box. I was up there with pen and paper while everyone else had laptops etc. The second time I watched Exeter, and most recent with it being 2015, was when Hartlepool won 2-1 to avoid relegation to the then Conference.

Match report:

Pools book FA Cup third round spot with victory over Exeter

Hartlepool United booked their spot in the third round of the FA Cup with a 1-0 win at home to Exeter City on Tuesday night.

Josh Hawkes’ 93rd minute goal proved the difference between the two sides after extra time.

To put further misery on Exeter’s night, Jack Sparkes was sent off in the 113th minute.

The result means Hartlepool face a trip to Oxford United in the third round.

Following a cagey start, it was Exeter who created the first real chance as Ryan Bowman worked the ball to Lee Martin who fired narrowly wide.

As Pools settled into the game, Mark Kitching and Ryan Donaldson both had chances come and go.

Clear-cut chances were at somewhat of a premium as the first half wore on, but Hartlepool’s Ben Killip was forced into a save to deny Martin shortly before the break.

Just before the break, Hartlepool almost took the lead in bizarre circumstances. A Hartlepool cross dropped at the back post and Pierce Sweeney opted to knock the ball back towards his goalkeeper. However, he was only a couple of yards away from former Hartlepool ‘keeper Jonny Maxted who was forced into a good reaction save to prevent Sweeney from scoring an own goal.

Early in the second half, Exeter’s Bowman forced a smart from Killip, before Hawkes fired over at the other end.

Substitute Nicke Kabamba then had a half chance for Pools, before Hawkes’ had an effort crucially blocked.

It was a tight competitive game throughout, and it didn’t look as if a goal was on its way for either side.

Gime Toure was next to go close for Pools, before Jake Taylor had an effort crucially blocked at the other end.

A crucial block at the other end prevented Hawkes, and extra time did look the most likely outcome.

With just three minutes remaining, Nicky Law teed up Alex Fisher for the visitors, but his low shot failed to find the target.

Extra time it was.

Pools couldn’t have hoped for a better start to extra time as they broke the deadlock in the 93rd minute. The ball was worked to Toure who turned on the edge of the penalty area and he picked out Hawkes. He took aim with a quick effort, and his high shot darted past Maxted and into the far top corner.

Having taken the lead, Pools looked to manage the game.

Exeter came at them and Law forced a good save from Killip, before Tom Parkes headed wide for the Grecians.

In the second period of extra time, Exeter kept trying for an equaliser, but they couldn’t create any chances as Hartlepool defended well.

And, in the 113th minute, their task was made even harder when they were reduced to 10 men. Sparkes stopped a dangerous break with a cynical foul, and the referee had no option but to show him a second yellow card.

In the closing minutes, Pools saw the game out well to book their spot in round three.

Full-time: Hartlepool United 1-0 AET Exeter City

Next up for me is Jarrow FC vs Easington Colliery tomorrow night.

Hartlepool United: Killip, Richardson, Kerr, Raynes, Kitching, Mafuta, Featherstone, Hawkes (Crichlow-Noble, 103′), Donaldson (c), James (Kabamba, 59′), Toure (Holohan, 115′)

Unused subs: Muir, Kennedy, Grey, Shepherd

Exeter City: Maxted, Sweeney, Aaron Martin, Parkes, Richardson (Williams, 56′), Collins, Taylor (c) (Moxey, 92′), Law, Sparkes, Bowman (Atangana, 81′), Lee Martin (Fisher, 62′)

Unused subs: Visser, Jay, Seymour

Admission: £15 adults, £10 over 60s, £5 under 19s

Programme: £2.50

Attendance: 2,398 (69 from Exeter)

Referee: Scott Oldham

Sunderland U23s vs Stoke City U23s

It was only at the start of the 2013-2014 season that I started keeping a record of the games I went to, and since the start of the 2013-2014 season, last Wednesday’s game at Esh Winning was my 1,000th game. This game was number 1,003. It was also game 79 of the season. Following last Tuesday’s game, I was at both Sedgefield Races and Carl Hutchinson at the Gala Theatre on Friday, before the two games on Saturday and Sunday. It could prove to be games on six consecutive days for me. Following Easington on Saturday, WHTDSOB yesterday and this today, there’s a chance I’ll be at Hartlepool United tomorrow night and then I’ll definitely be at Jarrow FC on Tuesday and probably Sunderland U18s in the FA Youth Cup on Thursday night.

Match report:

Stoke U23s claim three points at Sunderland

Gabriel Kyeremateng’s sole goal was enough to help Stoke City U23s to a 0-1 win away to Sunderland U23s on Monday night.

On a cold night at Eppleton, Kyeremateng’s goal in the third minute proved the difference between the sides as Stoke climbed to third in the league.

Sunderland’s side included trialist Joy Mukena, and Benji Kimpioka led the line for the Black Cats.

Upon kick-off, with the first chance, Stoke took the lead after just two minutes and 45 seconds. Tre Pemberton found himself with possession inside the penalty area and his square ball picked out Kyeremateng who slotted into an empty net.

Kyeremateng went close again for the Potters soon after. A through ball played him in and he looked to round the ‘keeper, but he was eventually thwarted.

Yet another chance fell the way of Kyeremateng in the 10th minute, but a good save from Patterson kept the deficit at only one. Daniel Jarvis latched onto the rebound, but he could only shoot wide.

Nigerian international Peter Etebo then went close for the visitors, before a quiet spell saw Sunderland slowly come back into the game.

As half-time approached, the chances somewhat dried up for Stoke, but Sunderland weren’t creating anything either as Blondy Nna Noukeu was untroubled.

Just before half-time, an injury to the referee caused a delay and five minutes of additional time.

Following the break, a superb early save from Patterson denied Ryan Corrigan for the visitors, before another good save from the Sunderland stopper denied Pemberton.

Pemberton then had another effort crucially blocked, before Ash Kigbu’s header for the visitors proved an easy save for Patterson.

Sunderland eventually created their first chance halfway through the second half. The ball was well worked to Cieran Dunne, but his shot was straight at Nna Noukeu.

The Stoke stopper had to be alert to palm a dangerous Lee Connelly cross-cum-shot to safety soon after.

With twenty minutes to play, Stoke went close to doubling their lead. Lasse Sorensen’s cross picked out William Forrester in the penalty area, but his header was narrowly too high.

Inside the final 10 minutes, substitute Patrick Jarrett almost wrapped up the win for the Potters. Pemberton’s ball through the middle picked out Jarrett, but his low effort darted narrowly wide.

Stoke were slightly sloppy throughout the second half and gifted Sunderland a few chances, but Sunderland just weren’t making the most of the occasional sloppiness from Stoke.

However, in the 86th minute, Sunderland almost took advantage of a Stoke error. The ball was given away far too easily, and the ball was worked into Kimpioka whose effort was crucially blocked.

That proved to be Sunderland’s final chance, and Stoke almost doubled their lead in the 88th minute. Etebo found room to shoot on the edge of the penalty area, and his shot forced a good save from Patterson.

Full-time: Sunderland U23s 0-1 Stoke City U23s

Next up for me is possibly Hartlepool United vs Exeter City tomorrow.

Sunderland U23s: Patterson, Gamble, Kokolo (Dunne, 55′), Neil, Mukena, Taylor, Sammut (c), Connolly (Greenwood, 89′), Kimpioka, Mumba, Connelly

Unused subs: Edmundson, Abdelkader, Bainbridge

Stoke City U23s: Nna Noukeu, Pemberton, Corrigan, Wara, Forrester, Kigbu, Dunwoody (c), Sorensen, Kyeremateng (Varian, 79′), Jarvis (Jarrett, 79′), Etebo

Unused subs: Macari, Cooper, Jones

Admission: £3 adults, £1 concessions

Programme: No

Attendance: About 110

Teamsheet: Free

Referee: James Bell (replaced by Glen Hart)

WHTDSOB vs Peterlee Catholic Club

Peterlee Catholic Club progress in FA Sunday Cup with victory over WHTDSOB

Peterlee Catholic Club booked their spot in the last 16 of the FA Sunday Cup with a 2-4 win at WHTDSOB on Sunday afternoon.

On a windy day at Grayfields, Ollie Hotchkiss collected a hat-trick for PCC, while Kyle Middleton was also on the scoresheet for the Catholic Club.

Chris Tarn scored a brace for the nine-man Tech, but it wasn’t enough to progress to the last 16.

With the first real chance, in only the sixth minute, PCC broke the deadlock. Hotchkiss took responsibility of a dangerous free-kick, and he curled a superb effort over the wall and into the far top corner giving Adam Lewis no chance.

The visitors were the better team in the opening exchanges, and their lead was almost doubled in the ninth minute. Good football found Reece Kenney, but his effort crashed back off the crossbar. Liam Wintrip got onto the rebound, but his effort was well saved.

Quarter of an hour in, Hotchkiss curled a similar free-kick over, while Gary Shaw had an effort blocked.

Having been second best for the opening 20 minutes, WHTDSOB then came into the game and created a couple of chances. Good pressure from Tarn won possession in a dangerous position and he helped the ball to Chris Taylor. In turn, Taylor picked out David Doughty, but his curling effort was the wrong side of the post.

Two minutes later, the hosts went close again. They worked the ball to Matty Hughes in a wide position, and his cross-cum-shot clipped the crossbar on its way over.

Shortly before the half hour mark, PCC thought they had doubled their lead. A quick flick put Shaw in and he finished well, but he was ruled offside.

Connor Watson had a tame effort saved for the Tech just after the half hour mark, while Chris Wallace shot over at the other end.

The Catholic Club finished the first half well, and WHTDSOB had goalkeeper Lewis to thank. After Wintrip had headed over, a spell of pressure resulted with Lewis’ outstanding save preventing Shaw. The resulting corner also led to a chance, but a header was wide.

Following the break, it took the visitors less than two minutes to double their lead. A corner wasn’t dealt with, and it dropped to Middleton who converted a difficult effort to extend PCC’s lead.

As the Tech looked to respond, Doughty had an effort saved.

However, just seven minutes after conceding a second, the hosts halved the deficit. Hughes floated a deep free-kick towards the back post, and Tarn rose highest to send a header into the net.

In an all action opening to the second half, the Catholic Club regained their two goal cushion in the 60th minute. A quick free-kick caught the hosts out, and Middleton’s original effort forced a good stop from Lewis. The rebound was blocked on the line, before another rebound, this time by Middleton, was again blocked on the line. However, it was blocked by a hand and the referee pointed to the spot and WHTDSOB were reduced to 10 men.

Hotchkiss took responsibility of the penalty, and he tucked the ball into the net.

The referee didn’t have the easiest of afternoons, but, especially in the second half, he didn’t help himself with some poor decisions.

One of those decisions led to PCC scoring a fourth in the 68th minute. Kenney charged forward and found a way through the middle of two defenders. A slight bit of contact saw Kenney lose his balance, and the referee pointed to the penalty spot. Kenney didn’t appeal for the penalty, and he admitted that it wasn’t a penalty. The referee gave it though, and Hotchkiss stepped up and dispatched for his hat-trick.

With quarter of an hour to play, a strong challenge led to plenty of pushing and shoving and things became a bit heated. It eventually calmed down, but a WHTDSOB red card as a result meant they were down to nine men.

Despite being down the nine men, the hosts made a game of it late on and pulled a goal back in the 80th minute. Tarn took aim from 25 yards and his effort beat Steven Hubery to find the net.

The same man had a couple of late efforts either blocked or saved as he looked for his hat-trick, while Dan Flounders and Hughes both also tried their luck for the Tech to no avail.

WHTDSOB had the ball in the net in injury time, but it was ruled out for a foul on goalkeeper Hubery.

The Catholic Club ran the clock down well deep into injury time, and they deserved their win.

Full-time: WTDSOB 2-4 Peterlee Catholic Club

Next up for me is Sunderland U23s vs Stoke City U23s tomorrow night.

Admission: £2

Programme: 50p

Attendance: About 140

Easington Colliery vs Durham City

Colliers claim three points against Durham

Easington Colliery climbed to within three points of third place Ryton & Crawcrook Albion on Saturday afternoon with a 4-0 win over Durham City.

Josh Home-Jackson and Jordon Southern both collected braces for the Colliers, and it was a clean sheet at the other end.

Jack Brown came in to replace the missing Jack Pounder for the Colliers, while the likes of Kieran Mitchell, Jake Dunn and Joe Hassanin all returned to the bench,

Kyle Middleton and Richie Goodman took control of the centre of the pitch, and Liam Adamson and Brown supported the front two of Home-Jackson and Southern.

Upon kick-off, it was Durham who had the first half chance when a poor pass gifted Junior Masandi a chance, but he could only shoot wide.

A few minutes into the game, the Colliers settled down and started attacking. A couple of dangerous low balls just needed the slightest of touches without finding it, before Adamson had a 20-yard effort saved by David Smallman.

Chris Pearson then had an effort deflected wide for the Green Army, before a quiet spell followed.

As is often the case, it was a very windy afternoon at the Welfare Park, and the Colliers were playing against the wind in the first half.

As the first half matured, the Colliers were playing some good football and putting a few dangerous balls into the penalty area, but they didn’t lead to any chances.

Just before the half hour mark, Durham had a couple of chances. Joe Collins headed wide, before Harry Stansfield’s dipping 20-yard effort came to the same fate.

In the 34th minute, Goodman had a chance for Easington. A corner was flicked on to find the former Washington man at the back post, but his shot couldn’t find the target.

Middleton then went close with a spectacular bicycle kick, before Pearson’s effort was well saved after Rhys Turnbull’s cross had been partially cleared.

Two minutes before the break, the Colliers broke the deadlock through a penalty. Home-Jackson picked out Goodman who quickly worked the ball out to Adamson. The good football continued as Adamson passed the ball to Southern, and he was brought down in the penalty area. Home-Jackson took responsibility and slotted the ball under the ‘keeper to give the Green Army the lead.

Brown had an effort saved in first half injury time.

Following the break, it took the Colliers less than seven minutes to double their lead. Goalkeeper Alex Lawrence played a superb quick long ball all the way over the Durham defence. Southern latched onto it and charged down on goal before slotting home.

In the 55th minute, it looked as though the Colliers had a third, but it was ruled out as the assistant accused Southern of blocking the goalkeeper’s view.

However, there was to be a third for the Colliers on the hour mark. Superb work from Home-Jackson won a free-kick in a wide position, and he dusted himself down to take it. He floated the ball into the area, and Southern climbed highest to head home.

Three-nil up, the Colliers took their foot off the gas somewhat. Adamson volleyed wide, before Collins was denied by Lawrence’s good save in the Easington goal.

Twenty minutes from time, there was a strange occurrence. The assistant raised his flag to rule Home-Jackson offside, but it was from a throw in and you can’t be offside from a throw! In the end the referee noticed the error and awarded a drop ball, but his explanation of what he was doing involved shouting and swearing!

With 15 minutes to play, Max Thomas had an effort saved by Lawrence, before Turnbull fired over at the other end after Hassanin had picked him out.

In the 87th minute, a fourth goal wrapped up a good afternoon for the Colliers. Great work from Southern won possession and saw him drive towards goal. He pulled the ball back to Home-Jackson who wriggled into room before curling the ball into the bottom corner.

That wasn’t it though. Lawrence was forced into numerous very good saves in injury time, and that is what kept the Colliers a clean sheet.

Full-time: Easington Colliery 4-0 Durham City

Next up for me is WHTDSOB vs Peterlee Catholic Club tomorrow.

Easington Colliery: Lawrence, Broad, Turnbull, Pearson (c) (Dunn, 57′), Garside, Goodman, Brown, Middleton (Mitchell, 63′), Southern, Home-Jackson, Adamson (Hassanin, 68′)

Unused subs: Ball, Devine

Durham City: Smallman, Woodhouse (Alderson, 61′), Whelan, Stansfield, Thomas, Gourley, Banki (c), McCardle, Morrison, Masandi, Collins (Nicholson, 77′)

Unused sub: Brooks

Admission: £5 adults, £2 concessions

Programme: £1.50

Attendance: 83

Referee: Michael Studholme

Esh Winning vs Easington Colliery

Colliers hit Esh Winning for five

Easington Colliery claimed a 3-5 win away to Esh Winning on Wednesday night.

Josh Home-Jackson collected a hat-trick for the Colliers, and Jack Pounder netted a brace.

Channon North scored a brace for Esh Winning, and Max Stoker was also on the scoresheet but the Colliers took the points.

Richie Goodman made his Easington debut, while Nathan Broad made his first ever Northern League start.

On a heavy pitch, it was a difficult game for the Colliers, but they eventually got the job done with a few quick fire goals midway through the second half.

In truth, all three of the goals conceded were very poor defensively, but the points came from a case of scoring more than Esh Winning.

Upon kick-off, Jonathan Swift had the first chance for the hosts, but his shot was an easy save for Alex Lawrence.

A minute later, the Colliers went close. Good work from Home-Jackson picked out Liam Adamson, but he shot wide.

Lawrence then produced a great double save to prevent Jonathan Swift, before the Colliers broke the deadlock shortly after. Kyle Middleton was brought down in the penalty area, and the referee pointed to the spot. Home-Jackson took responsibility and confidently slotted the ball home.

Just a minute later, Home-Jackson almost scored his second. Jordon Southern was fouled by a player who was arguably last man, and the Colliers had a free-kick right on the edge of the penalty area. Home-Jackson took responsibility, but his free-kick clipped the post with the ‘keeper beaten.

Following a quiet spell, Swift went close for the hosts, before Pounder fired just over for the Green Army.

Nick Marley then forced a clever stop from Lawrence, before Southern had a half chance bobble wide for the Colliers.

Although only one minute of additional time was declared, Esh Winning equalised after almost two minutes. The hosts worked the ball into the area with Easington failing to clear, and it dropped to North who fired home.

Following the break, Esh Winning had the ball in the net within four minutes, but it was ruled out for offside.

Southern then fired just wide for the Colliers, but Esh took the lead in the 51st minute. Again, it was poor defensively as a simple ball over the top played North in and he finished well.

Ten minutes later, the Colliers equalised. Middleton won a free-kick right on the edge of the penalty area, and Pounder curled an inch perfect free-kick into the top ‘keeper giving Dom McMahon no chance.

In a very quick turnaround of events, the Green Army took the lead two minutes after equalising. Adamson burst down the wing and his cross took a deflection to take the goalkeeper out of the game. Home-Jackson had burst forward and he was there to head the ball into the net.

A third goal in less than 10 minutes put the Colliers well in control. Good pressing football from Easington forced an error and the ball was played out wide to Adamson. He unselfishly squared the ball to Home-Jackson who converted for his hat-trick.

Goodman’s superb ball played Adamson in on goal and he dinked the ball over the onrushing ‘keeper. It was destined for the net, but a defender was charging back to attempt to clear off the line. He wasn’t able to though as Pounder helped the ball into the net.

A couple of further chances followed, but Esh pulled one back in the 85th minute. A corner wasn’t dealt with, and Stoker eventually bundled the ball home after a scramble.

Esh Winning went in search of a fourth late on, and Broad had to clear a shot off the line, but the Colliers kept the hosts at bay to claim all three points.

Full-time: Esh Winning 3-5 Easington Colliery

Next up for me is Easington Colliery vs Durham City on Saturday.

Esh Winning: McMahon, Gill (Smith, 82′), Hewitt, Stoker (c) (Kelly, 86′), Dixon, Soulsby, Donaldson, Arnott, Marley, North, Swift

Unused subs: Hannant, Summerson, Mclean

Easington Colliery: Lawrence, Broad, Turnbull, Pearson (c), Garside, Goodman, Home-Jackson, Middleton (Clish, 76′), Pounder (O’Brien, 83′), Southern, Adamson

Unused subs: Devine, Hughes

Admission: £5 adults, £3 concessions

Programme: £1

Attendance: 64

Referee: Givi Todua

Hartlepool United vs Tow Law Town

Having had no options for games for the past couple of days, I had a few options for today. I wanted to do a game on Sunday, but none were local and if I went further afield, it could well have been called off. Ryhope CW and Seaham were both options tonight, but this game was something a bit different to the average Northern League game and so this was my choice. Although I wasn’t at football yesterday, I was taking in some sport. During the day, a few of us were down in York for snooker’s UK Championship. We watched Li Hang vs Marco Fu, Stuart Bingham vs Zhao Xintong, Mark King vs Neil Robertson and Nigel Bond vs Judd Trump. The result in the latter was a massive shock. Getting back on the train was, well, interesting. All the lines north were blocked so we were stood in a queue deep into York train station car park waiting for replacement buses. We’d probably have been waiting until at least 22:00 (having started queuing at 18:45) but after about half an hour, there were two trains.

Now time for a question/point to raise. Definitely in the Northern League and I think at most non-league games, substitutes used to always have to warm up behind the assistant. When questioned, numerous officials said that it is “so the other assistant referee doesn’t accidentally think they’re affecting any offsides.” Fair enough. But, this season, and at points last season, assistants just seem to be VERY inconsistent with where substitutes warm up. Tow Law’s subs went to warm up behind the assistant tonight, but they were told to go to the other end. Does anyone know if there are actually any rules about this? Surely there should be a set position where substitutes warm up rather than it changing every game (I’d say behind the assistant). I’ve noticed at Hartlepool United first team’s games though, the substitutes never warm up behind the assistant.

Match report:

Pools progress in Durham Challenge Cup with victory over Tow Law

Hartlepool United progressed in the Durham Challenge Cup with a 3-0 win over Tow Law Town at Victoria Park on Tuesday night.

Niko Muir’s 14th minute penalty put the hosts ahead, and Jason Kennedy doubled that lead just after the hour mark.

Muir’s second of the afternoon late in the game wrapped up the win.

Hartlepool named a strong side to take on their Northern League Division Two opponents, with first team members Muir, Kennedy, Nicke Kabamba, Aaron Cunningham, Romoney Crichlow-Noble and Gavan Holohan all starting.

Dimi Konstantopoulos started in goal for Pools having signed on non-contract terms.

Upon kick-off, it was a quiet start with a blocked Tow Law effort being play worthy of note in the opening 10 minutes.

In the 11th minute, Hartlepool created their first chance. Joe Grey’s header forced a smart save from Lewis Graham, and Pools went even closer from the resulting corner. Having been swung into the penalty area, the corner found Crichlow-Noble at the back post, but his header was cleared off the line. The Huddersfield Town loanee was determined the ball crossed the line, but the officials disagreed.

Three minutes later, Hartlepool took the deadlock. Holohan was brought down in the penalty area and the referee pointed to the spot. Muir took responsibility from 12 yards, and he side-footed the ball high into the net.

Following the goal, nothing happened for 20 minutes.

With just 10 minutes of the first half to play, a high Pools ball picked out Kabamba who chested it down to Crichlow-Noble. He took aim with a first time half volley, and it skimmed the crossbar on its way over.

Holohan then had an effort well saved, before Muir’s attempt was deflected into the side netting.

Four minutes before half-time, Holohan went close again. This time, he took aim from the corner of the penalty area, and his dipping effort hit the crossbar with Graham beaten.

Muir fired over for Hartlepool with the final kick of the first half.

Following the break, Grey fired an early effort wide of the top corner for Pools, before the same man headed Holohan’s cross over.

In the 54th minute, Konstantopoulos was called into action for the first time in the Hartlepool goal. Adam Knowles’ good work gave him room to cross for Tow Law, and his cross was met by Stephen Ramsey. The former South Shields man got a good header away, but Dimi was down quickly to save.

Harrison Webster shot wide for Hartlepool in the 60th minute, before the doubled their lead three minutes later. Kabamba tried his luck with a bicycle kick, but it was blocked. However, the block meant the ball looped up in the area, and it fell to Kennedy whose cushioned volley from six yards gave Graham no chance.

As Hartlepool looked for a third, Holohan drilled an effort just wide, before Dale Milburn’s shot at the other end was blocked.

Grey had a couple of further chances for Pools without converting, before Kennedy forced a good save from the Tow Law Town stopper in the 78th minute.

Lucas Pilling had a big chance to seal the win for the National League side in the 84th minute, but he could only send a close range header over.

In the Hartlepool goal, Dimi had two pieces of work to do all night. The first was to prevent Ramsey’s previous header, and the second came in the 88th minute when Fraser Colling’s dangerous cross-cum-shot had to be palmed behind for a corner.

A minute later, Hartlepool wrapped up the win with a third. Adam Campbell picked out Muir for the hosts, and his sharp turn on the edge of the penalty area was matched by a well taken 20 yard shot picking out the far bottom corner.

Full-time: Hartlepool United 3-0 Tow Law Town

Next up for me is Esh Winning vs Easington Colliery tomorrow.

Hartlepool United: Konstantopoulos, Shepherd, Webster, Thompson, Cunningham, Crichlow-Noble, Holohan (Campbell, 75′), Kennedy, Kabamba (Pilling, 75′), Muir, Grey

Unused subs: Willoughby, Lowerson, Leonard

Tow Law Town: Lewis Graham, Shields, Oldfield, Barrie Smith, Pattison, Harvey, Knowles (Pearson, 79′), Jeff Smith (Colling, 73′), Ramsey (Teasdale, 56′), Moffat, Milburn

Unused subs: Evann Graham, Armstrong

Admission: £3 adults, £1 concessions

Programme: No

Attendance: 150

Teamsheet: Free

Referee: Glen Hart

Seaham Red Star vs Bishop Auckland

Another weekend of postponements due to the weather left me with little choice today. I was half expecting Washington vs Chester-le-Street Town to be the only game on and therefore me ending up there. I would have been at Sunderland U23s vs Wigan Athletic U23s last night if it had been on, but it was called off due to a waterlogged pitch. Again, I had thought about doing Darlington Town as they hosted Darlington RA, but I opted to stay local. Had the Newton Aycliffe vs Brandon United friendly kicked off a bit earlier, I would have done that game and this game, but I couldn’t get from there to Seaham in time for kick-off.

Match report:

Bishop Auckland claim hard-fought win at Seaham

Bishop Auckland claimed a hard-fought 2-4 win away to Seaham Red Star on Saturday afternoon.

On a cold afternoon, Michael Hoganson put Bishop Auckland ahead, but Dan Wilson pulled the hosts level just two minutes later.

Andrew Johnson regained Bishop’s lead, and James Fairly doubled it in the 21st minute.

Johnson’s second of the afternoon put Bishop firmly in control after the break, and Seaham could only respond with one goal through Michael Chilton.

It was an entertaining game, and the result was maybe harsh on Seaham who created plenty of chances.

Both sides played positive football from the off, but few chances came early on.

With the only half chance of the opening 10 minutes, Ryan Robinson fired narrowly over for Bishop Auckland.

Twelve minutes in, Bishop Auckland broke the deadlock. A well worked move found Hoganson, and his low effort from the edge of the penalty area clipped the post on its way in.

However, just two minutes later, Seaham were level. The ball was quickly moved to Wilson, and his composed finish found the net.

Still only in the 16th minute, the visitors regained their lead. Kyle Fryatt was brought down in the penalty area, and the referee pointed to the penalty spot. Johnson took responsibility, and he sent the ‘keeper the wrong way to regain Bishop’s lead.

Four minutes later, it was 1-3. A ball through the middle was partially dealt with as it was diverted out wide, but Fairley picked up possession and sent a perfectly judged lob over the ‘keeper and into the net.

As the first half wore on, it was Seaham looking the more likely to score. Taylor Richardson and Matthew Wade both had chances, but they couldn’t test Nick Liversedge.

Wilson had the ball in the net for Seaham in the 35th minute, but he was ruled offside.

Good work from Richardson gave Chilton a chance for the hosts moments later, but his effort on the stretch was cleared off the line.

At the other end, as Bishop Auckland looked for a fourth, both Johnson and Jamie Tumilty had efforts blocked.

Seaham were creating more of the chances as the first half came to a close, but it was Bishop Auckland who went into the break with a comfortable lead.

Following the break, Seaham’s Anthony Myers had the first chance of the half, but he drilled a first time effort wide after a cross had been partially cleared.

In the 54th minute, Bishop Auckland scored their fourth. A corner was played short meaning the ball into the penalty area was slightly later. It allowed Johnson to find an inch of room, and his header took a nick off a defender before nestling into the bottom corner.

Seaham went in search of an immediate response, and only a smart double save from Liversedge denied the hosts of the desired response. A low free-kick was well saved by Liversedge, and he did equally as well to deny Richardson’s rebound from point-blank range.

A couple of players went in the book for pushing and shoving just before the break, and that was followed by a quiet spell.

Halfway through the second half, a Bishop cross dropped nicely at the back post, but the eventual shot failed to find the target.

In the 70th minute, Myers skewed a difficult volley well wide for the hosts.

Two minutes later, the hosts had a big chance to pull a goal back. They worked the ball to Richardson, but his effort was saved. Wilson’s rebound was saved too, as were further rebounds from both Chilton and Morgan Dart.

Quick attacking football gave Bishop Auckland a chance in the 77th minute, but a combination of good defending and brave goalkeeping kept the visitors at bay.

In the 79th minute, Seaham regained some hope as they scored a second. Jaden Cahill-Taylor’s good work saw him burst down the wing before cutting in. He whipped a low ball to the back post, and Chilton managed to bundle it home on the stretch. Chilton hurt himself in the process.

Seaham had the ball in the net again in the 81st minute as Wilson fired home, but it was ruled out for an earlier offside against Dart.

The hosts then had half a penalty shout for handball turned down, before Wilson had a header comfortably saved.

Wilson and Chilton both had further chances as the full-time whistle approached, but they couldn’t find the net.

Fairley did have a late chance to add a fifth for Bishop Auckland, but it didn’t matter as the points were secured.

Full-time: Seaham Red Star 2-4 Bishop Auckland

Next up for me is probably Hartlepool United vs Tow Law Town on Tuesday night.

Seaham Red Star: Bannon, Hawkins, Hailes, McKinnon, Gillesphey, Myers (Cahill-Taylor, 76′), Richardson, Gardiner (Waite, 76′), Wilson, Chilton, Wade (Dart, 64′)

Unused subs: Tumilty, Steavans

Bishop Auckland: Liversedge, Robinson, Hoganson, Richardson, Bott, Fairley, Morris, Fryatt, Johnson (Winn, 71′), Tumilty (Nixon, 88′), Waller (Hart, 83′)

Unused subs: Parnaby, Chandler

Admission: £6 adults, £3 concessions

Programme: £1

Attendance: 157

Chips and gravy and can of Coke: £3

Referee: Graeme Hopper