Durham Women vs Charlton Athletic Women

Although it looked unlikely before the league restructuring, I have actually seen a couple of the newly promoted Championship teams before. Charlton and Leicester were both promoted and I have previously seen both of them at Durham in the FA Cup. Mind, I have never seen the likes of Lewes, Manchester United and Sheffield United. Today was slightly different to a normal Durham Women game for me. I was put in charge of doing a write-up for the FA as part of their Young Reporters Club. It won’t be a full match report, but will instead give a feeling to the club and ground as well. I’ll be writing it up later tonight, and it should be on the FA website tomorrow (Monday). With that, I had to enter the ground today via the main entrance rather than the turnstile. Although I’ve been to New Ferens Park probably 70 times, I’ve never actually been through the main entrance. It simply takes you to right next to the changing rooms, or up the stairs and into the main stand.

Match report:

Durham and Charlton share points at New Ferens Park

Durham Women and Charlton Athletic Women shared the points in an entertaining 2-2 draw at New Ferens Park on Sunday afternoon.

Durham led twice through Beth Hepple and Emily Roberts, but Charlton equalised twice through Kit Graham and Amelia Ritchie.

Durham manager Lee Sanders made two changes from last week’s 3-3 draw with Liverpool as Ellie Christon and Hannah Reid came in for Abi Cottam and Megan Borthwick.

Despite early pressure and numerous corners from Durham, there was no real chances early on.

Graham poked Charlton’s first effort wide in the 15th minute, but other than that, little happened in the opening quarter of an hour.

In the 16th minute though, Charlton had a big chance to take the lead. Gemma Bryan pinched possession and decided to pass to Graham rather than going herself. Graham tried her luck with a first time effort, but it just say evaded the bottom corner.

Durham’s lead came courtesy of superb football in the 21st minute. Roberts picked out Zoe Ness whose cross was chested down by Abby Holmes to find Hepple. Hepple took aim with a drilled first time effort, and it flew into the bottom corner.

However, only a minute later, Charlton were level. Graham pinched possession from Becky Salicki in the penalty area, and she kept her cool to slot beyond Reid and into the net.

In an action packed three minutes, Durham regained their lead. Rachel Lee’s perfect ball played Roberts in, and the former Doncaster Rovers Belles forward slotted home for her third goal in two games.

Following a quiet spell, Durham almost added a third in the 37th minute. Hepple’s corner caused all sorts of havoc in the penalty area, and it eventually had to be cleared off the line.

Shortly before the break, Ellie Christon’s cross was well taken down by Ness. The Scotland international drilled a half volley towards goal, but a crucial block kept Ness at bay.

One more chance was to come before the break. Hepple tried her luck from 20 yards and her effort was destined for the top corner. However, a superb save from Katie Startup prevented Hepple of a brace.

It was a cagey start to the second half, with neither side really going close.

A chance did fall the way of the Durham in the 59th minute. Roberts’ fine work picked out Kathryn Hill whose cross picked out Holmes. Her effort was destined for the net, but Startup saved.

Charlton went close to equalising with 20 minutes to play as Liz Ejupi teed up Graham but her effort was tipped over by Reid.

Another good save from Reid prevented Lily Agg’s dangerous free-kick a minute later, before yet another Reid save prevented Ejupi’s header.

Ness fired wide as she looked to wrap the game up for Durham, before Reid was once again Durham’s saviour. This time, she pushed an Agg effort to safety.

However, Charlton were to deservedly pull level in the 84th minute. Charlotte Gurr’s deep cross found Ritchie, and her looping header dipped into the far corner.

Late chances fell the way of both sides. Nicki Gears had an effort crucially blocked by Ritchie, before Reid pushed a Gurr effort behind for a corner.

In the end, a draw was probably a fair result, and it sets both sides up nicely for the remainder of the season.

Full-time: Durham Women 2-2 Charlton Athletic Women

Next up for me is Ryhope CW vs Sunderland RCA on Tuesday night.

Durham Women: Reid, Hill, Christon, Salicki, Wilson (c), Robson, Lee (Briggs, 66′), Holmes (Gears, 66′), Hepple, Roberts, Ness (Knott, 85′)

Unused sub: Borthwick

Charlton Athletic Women: Startup, Kerr, Ritchie, Coombs (c), Bryan (Ejupi, 63′), Gurr, Stobbs, Graham, Nicol (Agg, 63′), Churchill (Clifford, 63′), Maple

Unused sub: Griffin

Admission: £5 adults, £2 concessions

Programme: £2

Attendance: 427

Referee: Matthew Dicicco


Easington Colliery vs Brandon United

Colliers frustratingly held to draw at home to Brandon

Easington Colliery were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw at home to Brandon United on Saturday afternoon.

Despite dominating the majority of the game, and creating several great chances, Brandon managed to hang on for a point.

David Vincent put the Colliers ahead in the 12th minute, but Brandon United levelled through Ben Joyeux in the 27th minute.

The Colliers dominated the rest of the game, and had chances to put the game beyond doubt, but it wasn’t to be and it ended up being two points dropped.

However, it could have been even worse if Brandon had converted a guilt edge chance at the death.

The Colliers started brightly and put several dangerous balls into the penalty area without creating any chances.

What appeared a stonewall penalty for the Colliers was turned down in the seventh minute. Ethan Wood was shoved to the ground, but the referee didn’t award a penalty.

Jack Pounder had a shot deflected behind for a corner in the ninth minute, before a quick break from the resulting corner gave Jack Carr half a chance but he could only drag wide.

In the 11th minute, a crucial block prevented Kyle Middleton from putting the Green Army ahead. Middleton cut across goal, before firing an effort that was destined for the top corner but a crucial block denied Middleton.

However, the Colliers did break the deadlock just one minute later. Wood played the ball out to Liam Cooke whose cross was flicked onto Vincent. He took a took before picking out the bottom corner from 16 yards.

Another chance fell the way of the Colliers just two minutes later when Pounder found himself in a promising position. However, his effort failed to find the target.

Chris Pearson and Jake Metcalf both then tried their luck, before Middleton forced a routine save from Carl Robinson.

A dipping long-range Wood effort just evaded the top corner in the 26th minute.

With a rare chance at the other end, Brandon United pulled level. A deep free-kick found the totally unmarked Joyeux, and his six-yard header beat Keith Finch.

Having conceded, the Colliers continued to apply pressure. Pearson had an effort blocked, while a couple of dangerous Jak Ashton crosses were well dealt with by Robinson.

Daniel Quine had a chance for Brandon when he dispossessed Dan Martin, but he could only fire into the side-netting.

Promising football gave James Talbot an effort five minutes from time, but his effort was deflected to safety.

In the 43rd minute, Middleton stole possession in the centre of the park and he released Liam Cooke. After beating his man, Cooke got a shot away but Robinson saved.

Pounder headed over as the first half came to an end, and the Colliers were forced to go into the break level.

Quine fired wide for Brandon with the first chance of the second half, before Talbot forced a save from Robinson two minutes later.

Another penalty shout was turned away when Liam Adamson was brought down in the penalty area, before Talbot dragged another effort wide.

Alex Dobinson failed to test Finch with a 20-yard effort for Brandon in the 55th minute, before a big chance fell the way of Easington.

Great work from Wood saw him beat two men and thread a ball that played Middleton in. He charged down on goal, but Robinson, whose performance in goal saved Brandon, made himself big to prevent Middleton.

Pearson and Wood both had further efforts saved by Robinson, before an Ashton cross gave Adamson a chance but once again, Robinson saved.

Further pressure came from the Colliers, but there was a spell without any chances.

Then, the chance to snatch a winner came. Adamson was in on goal, and he looked to take it round Robinson. However, Robinson’s hand took it away from Adamson, and Michael Cooke skewed the rebound wide.

Despite being on the back foot, Brandon had a great chance of their own for a winner in the 90th minute. An original effort was pushed by Finch, and Joe Joyce’s follow-up header failed to find the target when an open goal beckoned.

It was a combination of good goalkeeping and poor finishing that prevented the Colliers in the end, and Brandon were more than happy with a point.

Full-time: Easington Colliery 1-1 Brandon United

Next up for me is Durham Women vs Charlton Athletic Women tomorrow.

Easington Colliery: Finch, Metcalf, Ashton, Pearson (c), Martin, Wood, Vincent (Adamson, 46′), Talbot, Pounder, Middleton (Michael Cooke, 69′), Liam Cooke (O’Brien, 59′)

Unused subs: Freeman, Goundry

Brandon United: Robinson, Nicholson, Dobinson (Clarke, 88′), Spence, Joyeux, Joe Joyce, Carr, Hindmarch (c) (Calvert, 78′), Sam Joyce, Quine (Turnbull, 70′), Blades

Unused subs: White, Burns

Admission: £5 adults, £2 concessions

Programme: £1.50

Attendance: 73

Referee: Steven Liddle

Stockton Town vs Consett

Compared to most previous midweeks, there wasn’t a great deal of choice for games in the north east this week. I had this game pencilled in for quite a while, and with the fixtures barely changing, it was always going to be my game of choice. Stockton aren’t a club I visit all that often, and I think tonight was my first visit since they got the seated stand installed. Although I haven’t been at a football match since Sunday, I was at Redcar Races yesterday. It was a typical afternoon meeting at Redcar – a low-grade affair with the feature being a rather average class 4 race with a few class 5 and class 6 races. Anyway, a trip to the races is always enjoyable regardless of the quality. Picking up a copy of Stockton’s programme shows why I believe having to put home club history and pen pics is a terrible rule. This isn’t a criticism to the programme, but because they have to follow league rules, there is very little actual reading content in it. People may say that they can add pages, but most clubs lose money anyway from printing costs and adding further pages will mean they lose even more money. And you can’t exactly charge £3 for a programme in the Northern League. Today’s programme was a 20 page programme for £1. Perfectly reasonably. But a quarter of that programme (five pages) was taken up by Stockton’s pen pics and history which will remain exactly the same every week! Three pages were given to Consett’s pen pics and history, and four pages were adverts. That only leaves eight pages left and two of them were the front and back cover! Two pages were a previous match report, two pages were the middle spread with fixtures and line ups, one page was a league table and one page was club honours/officials. Having to put the home clubs pen pics and history in the programme has a negative impact on the quality of the programme!

Match report: 

Consett edge seven goal thriller at Stockton Town

Consett maintained their 100% start to the league season by edging to a 4-3 win at Stockton Town on Wednesday night.

Despite Bishopton Road West being windswept throughout the game, the two asides played out a thrilling encounter but it was Consett who took the points.

Fred Woodhouse put Stockton ahead in the 23rd minute, but Consett equalised through Michael Sweet 11 minutes later.

Michael Mackay put Consett ahead 10 minutes into the second half, only for Nathan Mulligan to equalise with a penalty.

Sweet collected his second and Consett’s third 20 minutes from time, but Adam Nicholson pulled Stockton level once again 10 minutes later.

Aksel Juul netted Consett’s fourth in the 88th minute, and that proved to be the winner.

It was Consett who started the brighter and they created an opportunity within four minutes. Luke Carr picked out Sweet, but his low effort was saved by Michael Arthur.

Sweet and Calvin Smith linked up in the sixth minute, before the latter forced another save from Arthur.

Despite Consett being the brighter side in the opening quarter of an hour, there was to be a chance for Stockton. A well worked routine found Mikey Roberts, but his snapshot failed to find the target.

James Risbrough’s good work gave him a chance for the hosts with 20 minutes played, but his effort was deflected to safety.

Mackay forced a saw from Arthur in the 21st minute, but there was nothing Arthur could do about Consett’s next attack as they took the lead. A promising attack down the wing ended with a low ball being driven across the face of goal, and Woodhouse was at the back post to execute a simple finish.

Max Craggs and Roberts both tried their luck as Stockton looked to extend their lead, but Kyle Hayes was equal to both efforts.

And, with just over half an hour played, Consett pulled level. Smith’s beautifully dinked ball played Sweet in, and he took it down well before slotting beyond Arthur.

Great link up play down the wing between Jordan Lavery, Daniel Craggs and Michael Mackay gave Consett a chance to take the lead in the 33rd minute, but Mackay’s eventually effort found the side-netting.

Hayes saved a Craggs free-kick as the first half came to an end, before the same man blazed an effort out of the ground.

It was a quiet start to the second half, with Craggs’ very ambitious 40-yard free-kick that was deflected into the ‘keeper’s hands being the only half chance.

With the second halves first real chance, Consett took the lead in the 58th minute. Nick Green’s superb cross was chested down by Sweet, and Mackay unleashed a first time effort that hit the post on its way into the net.

Seven minutes later, Stockton pulled themselves level from the penalty spot. Roberts wriggled a way in on goal, before he was fouled in the penalty area. Nathan Mulligan took responsibility from 12 yards, and he sent Hayes the wrong way to pull the Anchors level.

Halfway through the second half, the post prevented Stockton from taking the lead. Woodhouse stole possession in a very dangerous position, and he teed up Roberts. The former Spennymoor Town man’s effort had the ‘keeper beaten, but it bounced back off the post.

And Stockton were made to pay as Consett regained their lead in the 70th minute. It all came from the referee wrongly awarding Consett a goalkick when it should have been a corner, but a quick Consett attack found Sweet and he finished well for his second and Consett’s third.

Roberts fired well over as Stockton looked for a response, before Tom Coulthard headed a corner wide.

Stockton’s equaliser was to come, and it came in the 80th minute. A corner caused all sorts of trouble in the Consett penalty area, and Nicholson was eventually able to bundle the ball home to set up an exciting final 10 minutes.

As play resumed, it was the hosts looking the more likely to grab a winner. They did in fact have the ball in the net when Woodhouse slotted home after an original effort had been parried, but he was ruled offside.

A superb save from Hayes prevented Nicholson’s towering header in the 86th minute, and at this point it looked as though it would be Stockton snatching a winner.

But, the winner actually came at the other end. A well-worked move found Juul 25 yards from goal, and his absolute peach of a strike whistled into the top corner.

It was a superb goal to win a superb game, and the victory takes Consett top of Northern League Division One.

Full-time: Stockton Town 3-4 Consett

Next up for me is Easington Colliery vs Brandon United on Saturday.

Stockton Town: Arthur, Dale Mulligan (Stockton, 77′), Risbrough, Nathan Mulligan, Nicholson (c), Coulthard, Ward (Coleman, 77′), Craggs, Roberts, Woodhouse, Garbutt

Unused subs: Bulmer, Mohammed, Petitjean

Consett: Hayes, Green, Lavery (Holden, 75′), Smith, Purewal, McKinnon, Craggs (c), Juul, Sweet, Carr (Lawrence, 90′), Mackay (Cassidy, 75’)

Unused subs: Dowson, Colling

Admission: £7 adults, £5 Over-65s, £2 children

Attendance: 226

Programme: £1

Hot dog and can of Coke: £2.50

Referee: Lewis Sandoe

Sunderland Ladies vs Doncaster Rovers Belles

Durham Women being at home at 12 and Sunderland Ladies being at home at 2 on the same day is something that has happened a fair few times over the past few years. Obviously, it wasn’t really doable when Sunderland were playing at South Shields, but you can just about do both with them now back at Hetton. On the few occasions that I’ve done both, I’ve left Durham Women in injury time to make Sunderland Ladies. It’s only a 10-12 minute drive but you’d struggle to watch every second of each game. I left Durham Women with only a minute of injury time left and arrived at Eppleton CW probably only 30 seconds before kick-off. This fixture today is a fixture that should definitely be played at a higher tier. It should be at least a second tier game, not a third tier game. The new league pyramid was terrible for both of these clubs, but Sunderland have got off lightly compared to Donny. Doncaster Rovers Belles are one of the most famous names in women’s football, and I think it’s terrible to see them struggling in the third tier. Having watched today, it’s clear both Sunderland and Donny are young sides now, but there’s one key difference. Sunderland managed to keep one or two first teamers from last season, and they’ve added a couple of furthest experienced players to the squad. Doncaster, on the other hand, appeared to be a team that is built on just youth and no experience.

Match report:

Sunderland Ladies cruise to victory over Doncaster

Sunderland Ladies cruised to a convincing 5-0 win at home to Doncaster Rovers Belles on Sunday afternoon.

Keira Ramshaw, Jordan Atkinson, Georgia Gibson and Emily Hutchinson all netted for the Lady Black Cats, and a second half own goal added to the tally.

Sunderland eased off in the second half, and had they been clinical in the first half, it could well have been double figures.

Ramshaw and Gibson both forced saves from Emily Batty early on, before a more impressive save from Batty prevented Bridget Galloway.

In the eighth minute, the hosts should have broken the deadlock. Atkinson burst down the wing and her cross found Hutchinson at the back post. Hutchinson took it under control, but failed to find the target with an effort from six yards.

Ramshaw then headed over from a Dan Brown cross, before Doncaster had their only chance of the first half. A defensive slip gifted Nadia Khan a chance, but her effort was saved by Sophy Stonehouse.

Gibson and Hutchinson then had two further chances each to break the deadlock for Sunderland, but a combination of good goalkeeping and poor finishing was keeping Donny level.

Gibson’s second effort was the pick of the saves from Batty. Atkinson, who was causing all sorts of problems for Doncaster, burst down the wing before cutting in and pulling it back to Gibson. Her first time effort was destined for the far corner, but a fine save from Batty clawed it to safety.

However, there was nothing Batty could do about Sunderland’s next chance as Ramshaw fired the Lady Back Cats ahead. Picking up possession on the corner of the penalty area, Ramshaw cut in before blasting a 22-yard effort into the far top corner giving Batty no chance.

A chance fell the way of Galloway on the half hour mark, but she was eventually charged down.

In the 32nd minute, Sunderland added a second. Galloway’s original effort was tipped onto the crossbar, but Atkinson was there to convert the rebound.

Less than three minutes later, Sunderland added a third. Ramshaw’s effort from the edge of the penalty area was blocked, and the ball fell to Gibson who drilled an effort into the bottom corner from 20 yards.

Another Galloway effort was saved in the 37th minute, before a quick one-two between Atkinson and Hutchinson gave the latter a chance but Batty was once again there to save.

Four minutes before the break, Sunderland added a fourth. Hutchinson latched onto Louise Griffiths’ ball over the top before finishing well. By this point, the game was practically over.

Sunderland’s first chance of the second half came just 20 seconds in. Mollie Lambert burst down the wing before pulling the ball back to Hutchinson whose effort was saved.

Ramshaw and Atkinson linked up well soon after, before Ramshaw fired over from a narrow angle.

In the 54th minute, Ramshaw’s teasing cross was met by the stretching Galloway and it was only the crossbar that prevented the Sunderland forward.

Sunderland, as possibly expected, slowed down in the second half. They were still in control of the game, but Batty wasn’t being tested as regularly.

However, a fifth did come in the 65th minute. Gibson’s corner caused all sorts of problems before eventually coming to the back post where it wriggled into the net through an own goal.

Georgia Marshall fired a Doncaster free-kick over in the 69th minute, before an Anna Young effort for Sunderland was awkward for Batty who pushed it behind for a corner.

Hutchinson’s first time effort from the penalty spot was then saved, before Galloway dragged an effort narrowly wide of the far bottom corner.

Gibson forced another save from Batty in injury time, but it counted for little as Sunderland won easy.

Full-time: Sunderland Ladies 5-0 Doncaster Rovers Belles

Next up for me is probably Stockton Town vs Consett on Wednesday.

Sunderland Ladies: Stonehouse, Brown, McCatty, Griffiths, Mullen (Warren, 75′), Atkinson (Woolston, 71′), Gibson, Lambert (Young, 59′), Hutchinson, Ramshaw (c), Galloway

Admission: £4 adults, £1 under-16s

Programme: Don’t think so

Attendance: 145

Bottle of water and can of Tango: £1.70

Durham Women vs Liverpool FC Women

Games like this are great preparation for the main season for clubs like Durham. They’re putting themselves up against the some of the best teams about and Durham having to deal with the fact that their opposition are full-time professionals. This result and the one against Everton surely put Durham Women in good stead for the Women’s Championship season. Yesterday, with Easington not having a game, the plan was to do Seaton Carew vs Jarrow FC Reserves. In the end I didn’t bother with a game, having also thought about Wheatley Hill WMC vs Hylton Sports Club. I think that I would have been disappointed if I had went to Seaton Carew with their only being six goals! I was expecting to possibly break my long-standing record of 13 goals if I had went.

Match report:

Durham Women pegged back to draw against top-tier Liverpool

Durham Women were pegged back to a 3-3 draw at home to Liverpool Women in the Continental Cup on Sunday afternoon.

Sophie Bradley-Auckland put Liverpool ahead with only one minute on the clock, but Emily Roberts equalised for Durham only a minute later.

Roberts’ second came in the 21st minute, and Abi Cottam added comfort to Durham’s lead in the 57th minute.

However, Liverpool rallied and Rinsola Babajide halved the deficit before Courtney Sweetman-Kirk’s late strike ensured the two sides shared the points.

Liverpool went on to win the penalty shootout for a bonus point in controversial style, but it took nothing away from a fine result from Durham.

In an all action start, Liverpool broke the deadlock with just 90 seconds on the clock. An inswinging corner dropped to Bradley-Auckland in the penalty area, and Megan Borthwick was unable to prevent it from crossing the line.

However, Durham’s response was immediate. Zoe Ness’ good work found Sarah Robson and her perfectly weighted ball played Roberts in. The former Doncaster Rovers Belles winger did the rest and the Wildcats were level.

Still within the opening 10 minutes, Amy Rodgers forced a save from Borthwick, before a Christie Murray free-kick clipped the outside of the post on its way wide.

Following a quiet spell, Durham took the lead in the 21st minute. Cottam’s cross was inch perfect, and Roberts latched onto it to cushion a first time volley into the far corner.

Niamh Charles went close as Liverpool looked for a response, as did Babajide but Durham were defending well.

Bradley-Auckland steered an effort over the bar for the visitors in the 36th minute, before Murray fired harmlessly over two minutes later.

Ness was denied what looked a stonewall penalty for the Wildcats with five minutes of the first half remaining, before Charles and Jess Clarke were both denied at the other end.

Liverpool possibly edged the first half, but it was Durham who went into the break ahead.

With the first real chance of the second half, Cottam made it three-one. Kathryn Hill’s hanging cross put it on a tee for Cottam, and her header from six yards gave Anke Preuss no chance.

Now two behind, Liverpool started putting more balls into the penalty area. Despite some of the crosses being very dangerous, Durham were defending well and chances for the Reds were limited.

Laura Coombs tried her luck from long-range in the 64th minute, but it was easy enough for Borthwick.

Another spell of pressure without any penetration came from Liverpool, before they managed to half the deficit in the 71st minute. A superb run from Charles drove through several Durham players and the England U20 international laid it off to fellow England U20 international Babajide. She took aim with a first time curling effort, and despite Borthwick getting a hand on it, she couldn’t keep it out.

Beth Hepple curled a Durham free-kick over the crossbar inside the final quarter of an hour, but Liverpool pulled level in the 87th minute. Charles’ cross found Sweetman-Kirk, and her clever finish pulled the Reds level.

There was to be one chance to snatch a winner, and it came the way of Durham. Roberts was played in and she charged down on goal. A fine save from Preuss was the only thing that prevented Roberts of her hat-trick. Robson rose to meet the resulting corner, but her header darted wide.

The game went to a penalty shootout for a bonus point, and Liverpool came out on top as Bradley-Auckland tucked away Liverpool’s seventh penalty for the win. It didn’t come without controversy though, as Sarah Wilson’s penalty for Durham had clearly crossed the line but the assistant referee said no.

Full-time: Durham Women 3-3 Liverpool FC Women

Next up for me is probably Stockton Town vs Consett on Wednesday night.

Durham Women: Borthwick, Hill, Holmes, Wilson (c), Salicki (Christon, 67′), Robson, Lee (Gears, 55′), Hepple, Roberts, Cottam, Ness

Unused subs: Reid, Knott

Liverpool Women: Preuss, Satara Murray, Bradley-Auckland (c), Matthews, Robe, Coombs, Christie Murray, Rodgers (Daniels, 83′), Charles, Babajide (Sweetman-Kirk, 75′), Clarke (Linnett, 61′)

Unused subs: Kitching, Kearns

Admission: £5 adults, £2 concessions

Programme: £2

Attendance: 352

Chips and a can of Coke: £3

Referee: Lucy Oliver


Sunderland Ladies vs Middlesbrough Women

Just three years ago, Sunderland Ladies finished fourth in WSL1 while Middlesbrough Ladies won Northern Division One of the Women’s Premier League (the fourth tier). Although Middlesbrough were definitely on the up, I would never have thought that Sunderland and Middlesbrough would be playing in the same tier come 2018. Although it’s not much closer, Middlesbrough Women’s move to Billingham Town will probably mean that I’ll get to a few more of their games in the coming season. I only visited them twice when they were playing at Thornaby and neither of those visits were a league game. Now that the season is underway, Sunderland Ladies are looking sharper than they did against Fylde and I believe they should be up there competing at the end of the season. This coming Sunday, Durham Women are at home at 12 and then Sunderland Ladies are at home at 2. Hopefully, I’ll get to both with a mad rush between the two of them!

Match report:

Ramshaw brace helps Sunderland Ladies to Wear-Tees derby victory

A Keira Ramshaw brace helped Sunderland Ladies to a 3-1 win at home to Middlesbrough Women on Thursday night.

Ramshaw put the Lady Black Cats ahead just before the break, and her strike alongside a Bridget Galloway strike put Sunderland in control.

Eleanor Dale pulled one back for the visitors late on, but it wasn’t enough as Sunderland claimed the points.

Upon kick-off, it was Sunderland who created the first half chance. Katie Barker picked out Georgia Gibson on the edge of the penalty area, but her effort proved an easy take for Laura Wareham.

Wareham saved a Galloway effort soon after, before the Black Cats were caught offside numerous times.

Just before the quarter of an hour mark, Emily Scarr registered Middlesbrough’s first shot. Her curling effort was destined for the corner, but a good Sophy Stonehouse save prevented the winger.

As the game opened up, Mollie Lambert teed up Barker for the hosts. Her effort was saved, and Galloway’s rebound was deflected behind.

Gibson and Lambert both had further efforts blocked, before former Sunderland winger Emma Kelly went close for Boro.

Kelly, playing in a central position in front of the defence, took aim from long-range but her effort curled narrowly wide.

Sunderland’s breakthrough came in the second minute of additional time. Lambert was fouled in a dangerous position and Ramshaw took responsibility. Her direct effort took a slight deflection, and that helped it loop into the top corner to put the Black Cats ahead.

Less than three minutes into the second half, Sunderland’s lead was doubled. Galloway dispossessed Emma Foster in a dangerous position before bursting down on goal. The England youth international only had Wareham to beat and she did just that by tucking the ball into the net.

A superb 10 minutes saw Sunderland make it three-nil in the 55th minute. Wareham’s clearance didn’t get the desired distance, and Ramshaw’s first time lob perfectly planted itself into the top corner to extend Sunderland’s lead.

An injury to Becky Bass slowed the game down, but on the restart, Middlesbrough did create a couple of chances. Scarr had an effort saved by Stonehouse, before a more impressive save prevented Eve Marshall in the 73rd minute.

Galloway teed up Jordan Atkinson as Sunderland looked for a fourth, but the former Durham winger failed to find the target.

Kelly went close for Boro inside the final seven minutes, before they did pull one back in the 87th minute. A deep ball was headed down to Dale, and her cushioned first time effort picked out the bottom corner.

Despite late pressure from Middlesbrough, it was comfortable for Sunderland who climb to fourth in the league.

Full-time: Sunderland Ladies 3-1 Middlesbrough Women

Next up for me is Seaton Carew vs Jarrow FC Reserves on Saturday.

Sunderland Ladies: Stonehouse, Brown, McCatty, Griffiths, Mullen, Ramshaw (c), Young, Lambert, Gibson (Atkinson, 73′), Barker (Hutchinson, 73′), Galloway

Middlesbrough Women: Wareham, Brown (Birtwhistle, 55′), Hutchinson, Cramer (Dale, 55′), Foster, Watt, Bass (Marshall, 66′), Dobson, Manders, Kelly (c), Scarr

Unused subs: Trainer, Luke

Admission: £4

Attendance: About 200

Programme: Don’t think so

Referee: Lucy Oliver

Bottle of water: 90p

Seaham Red Star vs Shildon

Although I’ve been to every club in the Northern League (with the exception of newly promoted Redcar Athletic), I visit some clubs a lot more regularly than others. Shildon are one of the few clubs that I’ve only visited once. It’s just Shildon, Whitley Bay and Penrith who fit that bracket with my only visit to Shildon coming on the 11th of October 2014 when they played out a 0-0 draw with Stourbridge in the FA Cup. I definitely am overdue a visit to Shildon and that’ll hopefully happen some time soon. I’ve only had one visit to newly promoted Birtley and I’ve never been to Redcar Athletic (I will have come December). There’s no comparison to the amount of times I’ve been to Seaham and the likes of Sunderland RCA, Ryhope CW, Billingham Town and Billingham Synthonia! After this game tonight, I’ll be at Sunderland Ladies vs Middlesbrough Women on Thursday night before probably heading to Seaton Carew vs Jarrow FC Reserves on Saturday. I know the likes of Peter Mulcaster and Don Naylor at Seaton Carew and watching Jarrow FC Reserves should be interesting to say the least! I’ll hopefully do both Durham Women vs Liverpool Women and Sunderland Ladies vs Doncaster Rovers Belles on Sunday.

Match report:

Seaham claim point at home to Shildon

Seaham Red Star claimed an impressive point with a 1-1 draw at home to Shildon on Tuesday night.

Following a quiet opening hour, Daryll Hall headed Shildon into a 76th minute lead, but Dan Wilson netted Seaham’s equaliser just three minutes later.

The wind had an effect on what was a quiet game, and a draw was probably a fair result in the end.

Shildon started brightly and in the 10th minute, an inswinging Shildon corner just needed the slightest of touches. Craig Ellison came closet, but he couldn’t connect and it curled past the post and out for a goalkick.

Seconds later, at the other end, Vinny Gash got a shot away for the hosts, but his effort from the edge of the penalty area was saved by Shaun Newbrook.

Following a quiet period, a low ball across goal gave Shildon’s Daniel Earl a chance. The former Marske United man tried his luck with a first time snapshot, but Andy Hunter was equal to it.

A good save from Hunter pushed a long-range Keith Graydon effort behind for a corner, and the Seaham stopper was able to collect the resulting corner too.

Wilson then headed wide for Seaham, before Gash almost put the hosts ahead in first half injury time. The former Brandon United man unleashed a dipping effort and had Newbrook beaten. Thankfully for the visitors, it bounced back off the post and the two sides went into the break level.

Following the break, Shildon were put under pressure. Just six minutes in, a good save from Newbrook prevented a 20-yard effort, while another shot was inches from finding the roof of the net.

Twelve minutes into the second half, good football from Seaham gave them another chance. Ross Toward played a ball down the line to find Wilson whose clever flick played Paul Gardiner in. He charged down on goal before taking aim, but his low effort trickled the wrong side of the post.

Another teasing low ball across the face of goal just needed the slightest of touches for the visitors 20 minutes into the second half, but it wasn’t to be.

As the final 20 minutes approached, Shildon were looking the more likely to open the scoring, but they weren’t creating any clear-cut chances.

Great work from Cieran Jackson teed himself up in the 71st minute, but his shot was saved by Newbrook.

And, at the other end, Shildon broke the deadlock five minutes later. Graydon whipped a wide free-kick into the penalty area to find the towering Hall. Hunter got a hand on Hall’s powerful header, but it wasn’t enough to prevent Shildon from taking the lead.

However, Seaham responded and they were level within three minutes. A well worked attack saw Gash pick out Wilson and his clinical finished pulled Red Star level.

Jack Blackford cut in and drove before forcing a good save from Hunter as Shildon looked to regain their lead, before Earl forced another save from Hunter after a drop ball on the edge of the Seaham penalty area.

The final chance fell the way of Seaham deep into injury time. Lee Hetherington was fouled in a dangerous position. He dusted himself down to take responsibility, but he could only curl well over and the points were shared.

Full-time: Seaham Red Star 1-1 Shildon

Next up for me is Sunderland Ladies vs Middlesbrough Women on Thursday night.

Seaham Red Star: Hunter, Toward, Weldon, Jewitt (Jackson, 18′), Hutchinson, Myers, Weirs (Hodgson, 78′), Gardiner, Wilson, Gash, Hetherington

Unused subs: Haley, Donnelly, Steele

Shildon: Newbrook, Harwood, Heywood, Hall, Turnbull, Graydon, Duell, Trotter, Earl, Ellison (Waters, 59′), Blackford (Hudson, 90+2′)

Unused subs: Wood, Hird

Admission: £6 adults, £3 concessions

Programme: £1

Attendance: 130

Teamsheet: Free

Can of Pepsi: 80p

Referee: Sam Packer