Spennymoor Town vs Nantwich Town

For a few weeks until only yesterday, I had Sunderland RCA vs Penrith pencilled in for tonight as the Northern League came to a conclusion with two games in the first division. However, neither of them had much to play for and although I know both sides will have wanted to win, this game was certainly the one that stood out more. This was my fifth trip to Spennymoor Town of the season and probably the biggest game of them all as they hosted Nantwich Town in the play-offs of the Northern Premier League. Noticing the situation, I put something on Twitter the other day which shows the rise of Spennymoor Town. If Moors won tonight and on Saturday in the final, they would be promoted to the Conference North and, should Hartlepool go down, they would only be the single division below Pools! It’s only a few seasons ago that there was about six tiers between the two sides! It was good to see Anders Johansen at the match tonight as I didn’t think I was going to see him on this trip. I did plan to go to Coxhoe Athletic on the night he was there but I was up in Scotland for a funeral and at Vale of Leithen vs Whitehill Welfare.

Match report:

Moors one win from National League North with play-off victory over Nantwich

Spennymoor Town booked their spot in the final of the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Premier Division Play-Offs on Tuesday night with a 2-0 over Nantwich Town.

Played at a wet and windy Brewery Field, goals from Kallum Griffiths and Andrew Johnson ensured the Moors claimed the win and they’ll host Stourbridge for a place in the National League on Saturday.

Following a tight first half, Griffiths put the hosts ahead in the 68th minute and the win was ensured 10 minutes from time thanks to a fine individual goal from Johnson.

Spennymoor named a strong starting XI with Jamie Chandler and Shane Henry pulling the strings in midfield while Glen Taylor and Graeme Armstrong lead the line.

The Moors started well with both Johnson and Armstrong trying their luck within the opening two minutes. Dan Gyollai saved from Armstrong, while Johnson failed to find the target.

In the 14th minute, Griffiths lined up a 25-yard free-kick for the hosts but Gyollai was relieved to see it curl narrowly wide of the top corner.

Twenty minutes in, Nantwich created their first real chance as a corner wasn’t dealt with and Curtis Jones missed the ball when given a fine chance. The ball bounced through to Sam Hall but he couldn’t keep his effort down.

A couple of minutes later, Griffiths fouled Nantwich’s Vinny Mukendi. Josh Hancock took responsibility and his drilled effort flew narrowly over the crossbar.

A quiet period followed as Nantwich nulled Spennymoor’s bright start. Nine minutes before half-time though, Taylor turned on the edge of the penalty area for Spennymoor and the former Whitley Bay man sent a powerful effort which took a deflection to loop two yards wide.

Following the break, Spennymoor reapplied the pressure with a scramble in the Nantwich penalty area eventually being cleared.

British Virgin Islands international Matt Bell turned to fire a shot for the visitors which was deflected wide and Ben Harrison nodded the resulting corner wide.

A fine save from Gyollai kept Nantwich level on the hour mark. The Stoke City loanee managed to get a superb hand on Chandler’s effort to palm it onto the crossbar.

However, he couldn’t keep out Spennymoor’s next effort as they took the lead through Griffiths. The full-back’s low free-kick managed to find a gap in the wall and the unsighted Gyollai was unable to keep it out.

With snow now falling over the Brewery Field, Nantwich played some good football as they looked for a way back into the game but struggled to break down a resilient Spennymoor.

And, 10 minutes from time, Spennymoor were to add a second which sealed the win. A fine run from Johnson saw the former Ashington man cut inside before picking out the bottom corner.

Spennymoor had the ball in the net for a third time a couple of minutes later through Taylor but it was ruled out for offside.

Substitute David Dowson could have added a bit of gloss to Spennymoor’s win in the final few minutes but Gyollai saved while Bell’s glancing header at the other end failed to find the target.

The win means Spennymoor are now only 90 minutes away from National League North football but Stourbridge will be looking to spoil the party at the Brewery Field on Saturday afternoon.

Full-time: Spennymoor Town 2-0 Nantwich Town

Next up for me is Wheatley Hill WMC vs Bishop Auckland Reserves at Seaham tomorrow night.

Spennymoor Town: Lowson, Griffiths, Mason (c) (Baldwin, 64′), Chandler, Tait, Curtis, Ramshaw, Henry, Taylor, Armstrong (Dowson, 74′), Johnson (Anderson, 90′)

Unused subs: Mitchell, Fisher

Nantwich Town: Gyollai, White, Touray, Harrison, Curtis Jones, Hall (c), Hancock (Abadaki, 85′), Riley (Brooke, 77′), Mukendi (Mwasile, 71′), Bell, Peers

Unused subs: Steve Jones, Stair

Admission: £10 adults, £6 concessions, £3 under-16s

Programme: £2

Attendance: 882

Chicken curry and chips: £2.70

Referee: Adam Herczeg

Wheatley Hill WMC vs Blackhill & Ebchester

When I watched these two sides play each other just 14 days ago, it was quite a competitive game until Wheatley Hill took control in the second half. With little else on tonight, and this being only three miles away from me, I was always going to go. Mind, I missed the bus and so had to walk. I ended up walking back too! Wheatley Hill are one of the best sides in the Durham Alliance this season. Although they don’t have the infrastructure and probably finances, they would be ale to compete in the Wearside League on the pitch. They play some decent stuff and I’m sure they would have a reasonable season if they were in the Wearside League. Two weeks on Wednesday, they play their final league game of the season against Sunderland Hall Farm Glasshus. Hall Farm are two points ahead of Wheatley Hill so it is all going down to that one game. A win for Wheatley Hill will see them win the league. They’re in another cup final on Wednesday coming when they play Bishop Auckland Reserves at Seaham Red Star.

I arrived right on kick-off and it was evident that Blackhill were going to struggle tonight. They only had eight players and lined up with the globally recognised system of 5-5-1! When in possession, they seemed to play a more attacking 4-2-1.

It was quite sunny throughout but the bitter wind made it difficult for both teams and they was a light flurry of snow at one point in the second half.

However, they struggled from the off as Wheatley Hill dominated. After wasting numerous early chances, the deadlock was eventually broken when a deflected long-range effort found the net to put Wheatley Hill in front.

A second was to follow only 60 seconds later as good football worked the ball to Jack Hart who finished well.

At this point, I went to get the ball out of a tree with quite a few thorns. I eventually got it, but I also had a thorn in my head with blood dripping from it and numerous scratches on my face.

Wheatley Hill added a third in the 34th minute and the referee blew for half-time after 40 minutes. Blackhill & Ebchester were working hard but there was no way they could find any joy. The hosts could have had six or seven come half-time and you had to feel for the Blackhill & Ebchester players who kept plugging away.

Wheatley Hill seemed to take their foot off the gas in the early stages of the second half and 18 minutes in, Blackhill worked the ball to their lone forward who struck an effort which came back off the post. I would have loved to have seen it pick out the corner for their sake!

Normal service was resumed five minutes later when another deflected effort beat the Blackhill ‘keeper to make it four and a fifth followed two minutes later. A corner was swung in and a header looked to be a comfortable take for the ‘keeper but his defender sneaked in to head it backwards and divert it past the goalkeeper to make it five.

A fine strike made it six 27 minutes into the second half and the referee called time after half an hour of the second period.

That made it a 70 minute game; something which is allowed if both sides agree to it.

Full-time: Wheatley Hill WMC 6-0 Blackhill & Ebchester

Next up for me is Spennymoor Town vs Nantwich Town tomorrow.

Admission: Free

Attendance: 20

Programme: No

Referee: Terry McMenam

Durham Women vs Brighton & Hove Albion Women

I think there are two teams in the WSL who I had never seen before today. One of them was Brighton & Hove Albion Women who are playing their first season in the WSL following promotion from the Women’s Premier League last season. The other, I think, is Arsenal Ladies. Every time Sunderland have played them, I’ve been in Greece! They play next weekend though at Sunderland so I should be there. Durham are playing a 12 next Sunday and then Sunderland at 2 so it is going to be another rush! With Easington’s season now over, I will probably have more variety in my games. The coming week is looking quite busy. Tomorrow, I’ll be at Wheatley Hill WMC vs Blackhill & Ebchester and on Tuesday I’ll probably be at Sunderland RCA vs Penrith although Spennymoor Town vs Nantwich Town is tempting. On Wednesday, I think I’ll be at the cup final at Seaham between Wheatley Hill WMC and Bishop Auckland Reserves.

Match report:

Durham Women regain WSL2 top spot with victory over Brighton & Hove Albion Women

A single goal from Sarah Wilson was enough for Durham Women to defeat newcomers Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday afternoon.

Wilson headed the Wildcats into an 18th minute lead and despite numerous chances for the hosts, there was only one goal in it.

The three points lifts Durham to the top of WSL2, while Brighton remain eighth with six points from six games.

Durham manager Lee Sanders gave first starts of the season to both Nicki Gears and Caroline Dixon with Jordan Atkinson dropping to the bench and Nat Gutteridge out injured.

Regional Talent Club graduate Kirsten Donald took a spot on the bench alongside Development side players Hannah Greenwood and Meg Elliott.

Durham started well and narrowed Brighton to very few chances.

Gears stung the palms of Emma Byrne with an effort from 18 yards in the third minute while Dixon volleyed not far wide from long-range only a couple of minutes later.

The busy Byrne was forced into saves from Nicola Gibson and Zoe Ness as Durham continued to dominate while Brighton were struggling to get out of their own half.

The vocal Annabel Johnson was causing Brighton plenty of problems down the right, while Ellie Christon and Emily Roberts worked the Seagulls on the left.

A deserved breakthrough came in the 17th minute through Wilson’s corner. Johnson did well to win the corner and Beth Hepple’s pinpoint delivery found the unmarked Wilson who headed home.

Durham continued to boss the Seagulls with numerous balls into the penalty area from Gears and Christon causing problems for the Brighton defence.

Fine work from Ness saw the Scotland international weave a way through three Brighton defenders in the 28th minute but Byrne was equal to her eventual shot.

With their first half chance, Alessia Russo found Katie Natkiel but the Brighton forward came only fire a tame effort straight at Rachael Laws.

A second almost came for Durham seven minutes before half-time. Fine link up play from Ness ad Hepple gave the latter room to cross and it dropped to Gibson’s whose effort was blocked. Gears was quick to follow it up, but her effort was saved by Byrne.

Hepple and Ness both had further chances for the Wildcats who went into the break with a one goal lead after a dominant first half.

Brighton looked slightly better in the opening exchanges of the second half with Russo firing a couple of drives which were both blocked.

Brighton have the woodwork to thank for keeping the deficit at only one 17 minutes into the second half. Ness whipped a superb cross into the penalty area and Hepple’s first time effort had Byrne beaten but bounced back off the crossbar.

Another chance came 45 seconds later as Ness found room on the edge of the penalty area but her curling, dipping effort dropped narrowly over the crossbar.

Roberts was next to see a sight of the Brighton goal, but Byrne got down well to prevent the former Doncaster Rovers Belles winger.

Substitute Tyler Dodds made an immediate impact for the Wildcats as she trickled through in the 66th minute only for Byrne to save.superb football saw a quick one-two between Ness and Hepple open up the Brighton backline. Ness worked the ball on

Superb football from the hosts saw a quick one-two between Ness and Hepple open up the Brighton backline with 20 minutes to play. Ness worked the ball onto Roberts but once again, Byrne was Brighton’s saviour.

Kirsty Barton fired wide for the visitors after their first corner in the 71st minute while Russo also failed to find the target.

Ness went close again in the 77th minute before a rare burst forward from Becky Salicki saw the centre-back cover about 80 yards of ground before her cross-cum-shot was collected by Byrne.

Dodds and Gibson both fired over when they could have sealed the three points for the Wildcats.

It wouldn’t matter though as Durham claimed the three points which regains their spot at the top of the league.

Full-time: Durham Women 1-0 Brighton & Hove Albion Women

Next up for me is Wheatley Hill WMC vs Blackhill & Ebchester tomorrow.

Durham Women: Laws, Johnson, Christon, Gibson, Salicki, Dixon, Wilson (c), Hepple, Ness, Gears (Dodds, 62′), Roberts

Unused subs: Borthwick, Briggs, Donald, Elliott, Greenwood, Atkinson

Brighton & Hove Albion Women: Byrne, Ritchie, Ashton-Jones, Rafferty, Perry (c), Dorey (Somes, 76′), Barton, Olding (Taylor, 60′), Russo, Thomas, Natkiel

Unused sub: Samain

Admission: £5 adults, £2 concessions

Programme: £2

Attendance: 551

Chips: £1.80

Teamsheet: Free

Referee: Lucy Oliver

Crook Town vs Easington Colliery

At the end of the season, you do get quite a few ‘dead wood’ games. Games played between two sides who have nothing to play for and they aren’t really that bothered. Today though, we were looking for a good win to finish off the season and finish sixth if Whickham failed to pick up the maximum points against Darlington RA. Unfortunately, Whickham comfortably won and so they finish above us. You have to give them credit really. At the start of the season, I doubt many thought that Whickham would finish in the top six. The last time I was at Crook, things were looking very bleak for them. They played Billingham Synthonia a few days before Christmas and lost 10-1. They had a goalkeeper playing up front and only the one substitute. Things looked desperate for Crook at that point but thankfully, they’ve picked up since then. This was only my third ever visit to Crook. I watched them play Ashington in August 2014 in my first visit to Millfield and then I saw them host Synthonia in that mentioned game only a few months ago.

Match report:

Easington Colliery end season on a high with comfortable victory at Crook

Easington Colliery ended their 2016-2017 season on a high with an impressive 5-1 win at Crook Town on Saturday afternoon.

Jack Pounder, Aidan Goodey, Aaron Croft, David Paul and Dylan Elliott all got on the scoresheet as the Colliers ran riot over their west Durham hosts.

Pounder headed the Green Army into the lead after only 59 seconds and that lead was doubled in the 11th minute when Goodey tucked home a penalty.

Chris Emms pulled one back for the hosts just before the break but Croft finished a superb team move in the 49th minute to regain their two-goal cushion.

It was 1-4 when Paul scored from long-range and Elliott wrapped up the points with a goal in his final appearance for the Colliers.

Easington’s management made two changes from last week’s win over Brandon United with Ethan Anderson and Luke Page coming in for Kyle Donaldson and Lewis Turnbull.

The Colliers couldn’t have hoped for a better start as they took their lead within the opening minute. Paul played the ball out wide to Croft and his cross found Pounder who headed home.

Easington looked comfortable from the off and were knocking the ball around with confidence despite a bobbly pitch.

In the 10th minute, fine work down the wing found Croft and his low ball into the penalty area found Pounder but he could only poke wide.

Crook were struggling to contain Easington’s burst down the wing with both Croft and Peter Jones causing plenty of problems for The Black and Ambers.

And, in the 11th minute, Jones’ perfect ball found Pounder and he sprinted towards goal before being brought down by the goalkeeper. The referee pointed to the spot but didn’t book the ‘keeper. Goodey took responsibility and tucked the ball into the corner to double Easington’s lead.

Daniel Pigg had the ball in the net for the hosts in the 13th minute but was penalised for handball during the process of controlling the ball.

Elliott dragged wide for the hosts after a clever lay-off from Croft while Pounder was played in but ruled offside not too long later.

In a rare chance for the hosts, Jack Cooper fired harmlessly wide.

Ten minutes before the break, it was almost 1-3 as Paul was played in but Niki Lawson made himself big and prevented the man playing against his former club.

In the 41st minute, Crook halved the deficit through Emms. The former West Auckland Town man beat the offside trap to race through and his cool finish lifted the ball over Anderson and into the corner.

Easington went into the break a goal to the good but it could have been a couple more.

Paul’s effort three minutes into the second half was saved before the Colliers regained their two goal cushion with fine football only a few seconds later. A passing move of 10+ passes eventually came to and end as Croft played a quick one-two with Pounder before slotting home.

Brennan Ball’s crucial block denied Crook a second in the 56th minute before a fine Liam Adamson bicycle kick dipped just over the crossbar.

The continued chances were eventually going to lead to a fourth goal and it came just before the hour mark through Paul. Collecting the ball 25 yards from goal, Paul sent a moving effort over the ‘keeper and into the net to put the result beyond doubt.

Paul’s second almost came in the 62nd minute when diverted Adamson’s low cross off the crossbar before substitute Bryan Norton went close in the 65th minute.

It was great to see the Colliers playing free-flowing positive football and Crook simply couldn’t compete.

Elliott, playing his final game before returning to parent club Hartlepool United, completed the scoring 19 minutes from time. Adamson pulled the ball back to Elliott and he slotted home with ease.

Pigg was looking one of Crook’s brightest assets and in the 73rd minute, the former Darlington RA man burst clear but could only slot narrowly wide.

Further half chances were to follow for Easington but there was to be no further goals as the Colliers played out the season with a comfortable win.

Full-time: Crook Town 1-5 Easington Colliery

Next up for me is Durham Women vs Brighton & Hove Albion Ladies tomorrow.

Crook Town: Lawson, Grocott, Spooner, Braithwaite, Stephenson, Clavert, Munday, Emms (c), Pigg, Cooper (Mann, 46′), Cocks (Johnston, 69′)

Unused subs: Tunstall, Watson, Thompson

Easington Colliery: Anderson, Croft, Jones, Pearson (c) (Freeman, 67′), Ball, Goodey (Adamson, 45+3′), Elliott, Page, Paul, Pounder, Kenney (Norton, 67’)

Unused sub: Graydon

Admission: £5 adults, £3 concessions

Programme: £1

Attendance: About 70

Chips: £1

Referee: Tom Craig

 

Hartlepool FC vs Sunderland West End

Since joining Easington, I haven’t seen many games in the Wearside League. I’m at Easington’s games every Saturday and there isn’t that many midweek games in the Wearside League usually. There hasn’t been much choice of games this week really. Having down Billingham Town vs Billingham Synthonia on Monday, there wasn’t many games locally yesterday so I didn’t bother. And, there wasn’t much locally in the Northern League today either. This was always going to be my choice of game today. What I did do yesterday though was visit Knotty Hill Golf Centre. I used go to Knotty Hill about four or five years and we would just hit a few balls on the driving range. Before yesterday, it was at least four years since I last swung a gold club but we decided to go for a full round of golf yesterday. Considering I hadn’t swung a club for about fours years and it was my first ever actual round, I felt as though going round in 109 wasn’t too bad!

Match report:

Hartlepool held to draw with Sunderland West End

Hartlepool FC claimed a point as they played out a 2-2 at home to Sunderland West End on Wednesday night.

Kieran Campbell headed FC into a 20th minute lead but West End equalised through Reece Thompson only four minutes later.

Brad Forster headed Sunderland West End into the lead in the second half but the points were shared when Jamie Tumilty coolly slotted home.

Looking to climb above South Shields Reserves, Hartlepool named a strong squad despite missing a few key names.

It took the hosts time to settle but they create the first chance when Ashley Clark opened up to find Matty Gardner but his weak effort was saved by Lee Burrell.

Sunderland West End should have broken the deadlock in the fifth minute. Alan Golightly’s cross dropped in the penalty area where numerous Martin Thompson efforts were either blocked or saved and Hartlepool eventually cleared.

Callum Short sent a glancing header wide for the hosts before the game settled into a quiet period.

Both sides were seeing spells of possession but were failing to find the vital final ball.

In the 20th minute though, Hartlepool did take the lead through Campbell. The former Horden CW man rose at the back post to meet Dale Campion’s cross and Campbell’s header had Burrell rooted to his spot.

The lead could have been doubled three minutes later when Clark weaved a way through but his eventual effort was saved.

And, Hartlepool would be made to pay as West End pulled level in the 24th minute. A delicately chipped ball played Reece Thompson in and his cool finish picked out the far corner.

Hartlepool seemed frustrated to have conceded only a couple of minutes after taking the lead and they almost regained their lead on the half hour mark. Clark’s low free-kick was driven across the face of the goal and it found Tumilty but his powerful drive was well saved by Burrell.

The scoreline was level at the break but both sides will have felt they could have taken an advantage going into the second half.

Ten minutes into the second half, Hartlepool could have taken the lead through Tumilty when he was played in but he was outmuscled and West End cleared to safety.

Campion fired over when a free-kick fell his way before West End took the lead in the 66th minute.

A deep corner found Forster at the back post and his header somehow snuck between the post and Kalon Lloyd to put the visitors in front.

Tumilty wasted a dangerous Hartlepool free-kick as the game entered its final 10 minutes while substitute John Stephenson found a sight of goal but his effort was blocked.

Hartlepool were to pull level through in the 83rd minute. A West End defender was outmuscled in the penalty area and Stephenson played the ball square to Tumilty who tucked the ball home to ensure an exciting final five minutes.

Golightly’s long-range effort forced a fine save from Josh Noble in the 86th minute while a glancing West End header was sent just wide in the 90th minute.

Both sides could have snatched it in the second minute of additional time. A Hartlepool corner fell kindly to Rhys Tapner but he couldn’t find the desired power and Burrell saved. West End countered and played Matthew Halliday in but he failed to find the target and the points were shared.

Full-time: Hartlepool FC 2-2 Sunderland West End

Next up for me is probably Crook Town vs Easington Colliery on Saturday.

Hartlepool FC: Noble, Stokes, Moss (c), Short, Swailes, Clark (Stephenson, 72′), Lloyd, Gardner (Naylor, 62′), Campbell (Tapner, 88′), Tumilty, Campion

Unused sub: Coils

Sunderland West End: Burrell, Hodgson (Lax, 69′), Reece Thompson, Robinson, Forster (c), Smith, Golightly, Cook (Keithley, 50′), Martin Thompson, Stanger, Heads (Halliday, 64′)

Unused sub: Chapman

Admission: £2 adults, £1 concessions I think

Attendance: 58

Programme: No

Referee: Michael Burrows

Billingham Town vs Billingham Synthonia

The Billingham derby is always an occasion I look forward to. I would normally get to both fixtures of it – at both Bedford Terrace and Central Avenue but I couldn’t make the outing at Synthonia this year as Easington had a game on the same day. It was Boxing Day and we were hosting Stockton Town while Synners hosted Town. The original plan for today was to do at least two games. I was going to this game, then I was going to head up to Gateshead. But, then, I found out that Gateshead vs Lincoln City was in fact now all ticket. There was no way I was going up to the International Stadium on Saturday or Sunday just to buy a ticket. In the end, they did sell tickets on the day but I didn’t bother going. I had won a couple of tickets for Redcar Races thanks to Totesport who were sponsoring three of the races. Sticking by my philosophy, I was four of the eight races and came back with £30 profit from putting £2 a race on each horse to win. I stuck by my favourite two jockeys – Nathan Evans and Josephine Gordon. Nathan rode home a triple with Carlton Frankie, Roller and a nice final win 10/1 win on Stubytuesday. Josephine Gordon rode home on Carigrad to make it a successful day at the races.

Match report:

Honours even in Billingham derby

Billingham Town and Billingham Synthonia played out a second 0-0 draw of the season in the Billingham derby on Monday morning.

Having drawn 0-0 at Central Avenue on Boxing Day, the two sides met at Bedford Terrace with Synthonia already promoted and Town looking to close the gap on Heaton Stannington.

There was to be no breakthrough though and the local rivals have now played 180 minutes of football against each other this season without a goal.

Stephen Oakley was sent off for Town but Synners couldn’t capitalise and the points were shared.

With a crowd of 421 watching on, Synthonia started the brighter but failed to create any real chances.

Town could have broken the deadlock in the 14th minute when Chris Dickinson’s corner dropped in the penalty area but neither Jamie Davis or Craig Hutchinson were able to convert.

It was a competitive opening half hour but little goalmouth action led to few chances.

In the 28th minute, John Seaton picked out Jordan Wilson for the visitors but he decided to pull the ball back when shooting was probably the better option.

Chay Liddle’s shot from the resulting corner was blocked and Synthonia were starting to take control.

They almost broke the deadlock in the 40th minute when Liddle played Conor Winter in but the former Ryhope CW man’s effort bounced back off the post.

When Oakley was sent off for a strong challenge on Liddle, the away side seemed to have the upper hand, but there was to be breakthrough before the break.

Alex Leeds saved Liddle’s long-range effort in the 51st minute before Macaulay Loangstaff’s curling free-kick forced Leeds into a rather comfortable save three minutes later.

Quarter of an hour from time, Ash Lavan tried his luck as Town looked to register a shot on target but his effort sailed not too far wide.

Synners substitute Matthew Wyke could have proved to be the hero 13 minutes from time when a free-kick dropped his way but his powerful drive was deflected behind for a corner.

Then, Joe Hillerby fired a 20-yard drive but Leeds was able to save.

Synthonia had a couple of half chances as the 90 came to an end; Josh Rowbotham’s header from a Steven Huggins cross being the most notable.

Town eventually managed a shot on target in the fifth minute of stoppage time when a deep corner found Matty Crossen at the back post but his bicycle kick was blocked as it was destined for the net.

The referee’s final whistle meant the points were shared, and it was the correct result given the lack of goalmouth action.

Full-time: Billingham Town 0-0 Billingham Synthonia

Next up for me is probably Hartlepool FC vs Sunderland West End on Wednesday night.

Billingham Town: Leeds, Moore, Dixon, Osmond, Oakley (c), Crossen, Davis, Dickinson (Beddow, 59′), Hutchinson, Lavan (Redman, 80′), Hogan

Unused subs: Dunlavey, Keogh, McDonald

Billingham Synthonia: McLaren, Huggins, Robinson, Seaton, Rowbotham, Crust, Langstaff, McGurk (Hillerby, 52′), Winter (Steel, 68′), Liddle (c), Wilson (Wyke, 68′)

Unused subs: Craggs, Johnston

Admission: £5 adults, £3 concessions

Attendance: 421

Programme: £2

Cheeseburger: £2.50

Can of Coke: 80p

Referee: Paul Cooper

 

Easington Colliery vs Brandon United

Even though there isn’t that much to play for at this point in the season, we still want to finish as high as we can at Easington. Our aim is to finish top six and a win today would have put us right in contention to do just that. Last week’s loss at Willington was very disappointing. Willington weren’t great, they were there to be beaten but we were even poorer. A response was needed today. The Easter weekend is always a busy time but I’m not sure I’ll get to any game tomorrow. There isn’t much on. I was hoping originally to get to Doncaster Rovers Belles vs Durham Women but it doesn’t look like that will be happening now. On Monday, I’ll be at Billingham Town vs Billingham Synthonia and then I’m going to Redcar Races considering I’ve won two free tickets! I don’t think I’ll be at a game on Tuesday but I’ll probably be somewhere in the Wearside League on Wednesday.

Match report:

Pounder brace sinks Brandon

Jack Pounder scored a brace as Easington Colliery came from behind to beat Brandon United on Saturday afternoon.

Hartlepool United loanee Dylan Elliott fired Easington into a 21st minute lead only for Kieran Duffy-Weekes to pull Brandon level four minutes before half-time.

Daniel Quine slotted Brandon into a 56th minute lead but Pounder pulled the Colliers level just after the hour mark and a bullet header from the former Sunderland RCA man sealed the win 18 minutes from time.

Tom Goodey, Craig Parkinson and Craig Veart took charge of the Easington team and made three changes from last week’s defeat at Willington with Luke Page, Dylan Nesbitt and Liam Adamson giving way for Reece Kenney, Lewis Turnbull and Brennan Ball.

Easington started well despite kicking against the wind and could have taken the lead inside the opening two minutes when a Goodey corner found a way through to Turnbull but his effort was weak and saved by Tom Orton.

Anthony Phillipson fired Brandon’s first half chance over before Pounder almost fired the Colliers into a 13th minute lead.

Ball’s free-kick was superbly flicked on by Peter Jones to play Pounder in but his powerful effort was slightly too high.

Aaron Croft headed wide as Easington mounted pressure and a deserved breakthrough came in the 21st minute. A free-kick was lifted into the penalty area to find Pounder. Pounder teed up Elliott who fired high into the net from 12 yards to put the Green Army in command.

Elliott was looking lively for the Colliers and the 19-year-old created chances for both Kenney and Paul before having a try himself but Orton saved.

Quine tested Donaldson just before the half hour mark in a rare chance for the visitors.

Easington were knocking the ball around with confidence and looking a total different side from last week’s game at Willington.

Kenney forced a fine save from Orton to prevent his 25-yard free-kick from tucking into the bottom corner in the 32nd minute while Paul whipped a ball across the face of goal but no one was there to turn it home.

From nothing, Brandon pulled level as the first half came to a close. A route one ball over found Duffy-Weekes and his cool finish lobbed Donaldson before dropping into the net.

The Green Army went into the break level but knew the wind would be on their side in the second half.

Duffy-Weekes looked to collect his second in the 48th minute from long-range but Donaldson was able to save while Goodey fired wide from similar range at the other end.

The game was 55 minutes old when Brandon United took the lead. Phillipson outmuscled Turnbull in the Easington penalty area before playing the ball square to Quine who slotted home despite questions of offside.

Easington had a chance to pull level only two minutes later when Jones’ cross dropped for Pounder but a good save from Orton prevented Pounder when one-on-one.

Jones would be the provider to Easington’s equaliser in the 61st minute. Substitute Bryan Norton, who had replaced the injured Paul, chased a long ball before picking up possession and finding Jones. Jones slotted the ball through to Pounder and he poked home to pull Easington level.

Elliott curled a free-kick over before the Colliers took the lead for a second time in the 72nd minute. Goodey whipped a pinpoint free-kick into the penalty area from the halfway line and Pounder rose to send a bullet header into the net with Orton rooted to his spot.

Brandon could and should have pulled level 13 minutes from time when Daniel Pearson volleyed over from a matter of four yards after a corner wasn’t cleared.

Brandon offered little in the final 10 minutes with Easington looking to add to their tally. It looked as though Easington had added a fourth in the third minute of additional time. Norton’s fine long-range effort crashed back off the crossbar with Orton beaten and Pounder slotted home the rebound only to be ruled offside.

And, things went from bad to worse for the visitors as James Moore was shown a straight red card. The substitute, who had only been on the pitch for 25 minutes, squared up and pushed Goodey and was punished with a dismissal.

It looked as though Easington had added a fourth in the third minute of additional time. Norton’s fine long-range effort crashed back off the crossbar with Orton beaten and Pounder slotted home the rebound only to be ruled offside.

It wouldn’t matter though as Easington secured the three points which ensures a top eight finish.

Full-time: Easington Colliery 3-2 Brandon United

Next up for me is Billingham Town vs Billingham Synthonia on Monday.

Easington Colliery: Donaldson, Ball, Goodey, Pearson (c), Turnbull (Freeman, 61′), Elliott, Croft, Kenney (Powell, 83′), Paul (Norton, 50′), Pounder, Jones

Unused subs: Adamson, Anderson

Brandon United: Orton, Thompson, Turnbull, Pearson, Wren (c), Marshall (Jones, 77′), Phillipson, Duffy-Weekes, Burton, Quine, Clarke (Moore, 62′)

Unused subs: O’Brien, Rush

Admission: £5 adults, £2 concessions

Programme: £1.50

Attendance: About 80

Referee: James Lowery