I had a few options for games today. I could have done three games if I had wanted to. The one game that I was most likely to do was Gateshead A vs Birtley Town this afternoon. I was hoping it would be played on one of the 3G pitches at the International Stadium to be a ‘new ground’ but it was actually being played within the stadium. Because of that, I didn’t bother going. There was a couple of games this morning that I thought about. Silksworth CW vs Sunderland West End in the Shipowners Charity Cup final was probably the main one, but I did think about doing North Shields vs Seaham Red Star too. In the end, I opted against any of these and this game in a 18:30 kick-off proved to be my only game of the day. Wheatley Hill have successfully defended their Durham Alliance title again this year despite the likes of Horden joining the league. Although they’ve had a rather average league campaign by what they would expect, Hall Farm had already booked their spot in two cup finals this year. A win tonight would have put them into a third cup final. I think tonight saw something I’ve never done before – watched the same player play on three consecutive days! Kyle Middleton played for Easington on Saturday, Dawdon Welfare Park in the Durham Sunday Cup final yesterday and Wheatley Hill tonight. I’ve now watched him at all three of those games.
To the game and it was Hall Farm Glasshus who created the first chance. With five minutes played, a corner wasn’t dealt with and a Hall Farm effort was drilled not too far over.
A good save prevented Wheatley Hill from a corner in the 10th minute, before Lee Westgarth scooped an effort over the crossbar for the hosts.
A Wheatley Hill effort was blazed over soon after, before Kyle Middleton dragged wide from the edge of the penalty area.
It was a good competitive affair, but Wheatley Hill were creating more chances.
With five minutes of the first half to play, Hall Farm’s ‘keeper spilled a cross-cum-shot and it fell to Ash Griffiths. He tried his luck with a close-range back heel, but the ‘keeper produced a save.
A good save denied Hall Farm Glasshus in the 42nd minute, before the Houghton outfit had a goal ruled out two minutes later for offside.
Another Hall Farm chance came as half-time approached. Their number 7 was released in on goal but his effort was saved.
Following the break, Wheatley Hill created a chance within the opening 40 seconds. A ball over the top played Griffiths in but his attempted lob was caught.
In the 54th minute, Hall Farm broke the deadlock. A through ball played their number 7 in and he rounded the ‘keeper before slotting home.
Now behind, Wheatley Hill looked for a response. Numerous shots were saved with Middleton going closest.
Eight minutes after taking the lead, Hall Farm doubled it. The hosts failed to clear in a wide position and Hall Farm pinched possession. A deep cross found the unmarked number 7 at the back post and his simple finish gave him his second of the evening.
In the 69th minute, a towering Wheatley Hill header bounced back off the crossbar, before Middleton’s rebound was blocked.
Hall Farm quickly broke the Middleton’s blocked effort and number 7 rounded the ‘keeper but couldn’t convert for his hat-trick.
Another Wheatley Hill effort hit the crossbar nine minutes later, before another effort from the hosts was this time cleared off the line.
It certainly looked as though it wasn’t going to be Wheatley Hill’s day. And, with just four minutes to play, Hall Farm’s third confirmed that it wasn’t Wheatley Hill’s day. A pick attack found number 9 and his effort beat the ‘keeper at his near post.
Full-time: Wheatley Hill WMC 0-3 Hall Farm Glasshus
Next up for me is Durham Women vs Aston Villa Ladies tomorrow.
Referee: Kieran Downey