Newcastle Benfield vs West Auckland Town

In a way, today was kind of the last day of the proper season for me. Games were regular until today, but after today, it’ll basically be a case of doing what I can when I can. There aren’t many fixtures to be honest! I’ll be at Hartlepool United vs Salford City on Saturday but I’m not sure I’ll get anywhere before then. If I get the chance to go somewhere on Wednesday, I will, but there’s certainly no guarantee. The plan for today was just to do this game. If I could have got to either South Shields, Spennymoor Town or Gateshead Leam Rangers afterwards, I would have, but I wasn’t overly bothered if it was just this game. A game on Thursday, two on Friday, one on Saturday, one on Sunday and one on Monday is enough.

Match report:

West Auckland win Brooks Mileson League Cup on penalties

West Auckland Town won the Brooks Mileson Memorial League Cup on Monday afternoon with a win on penalties against Newcastle Benfield.

Following a goalless draw, Ross Colquhoun scored the decisive penalty as West Auckland won 4-3 on penalties.

Although chances were at a premium in the first half, the first chance came with just 30 seconds played. Steven Snaith teed up Amar Purewal on the edge of the penalty area, but his shot was saved by Andrew Grainger.

A quiet spell then followed with little action worthy of note. The two sides were fairly matched, with neither carving out any clear-cut chances.

In the 21st minute, West Auckland had a good chance. Good football found Adam Mitchell who played a quick one-two with Snaith. The one-two set up a chance for Mitchell, but his shot darted wide.

Only 10 minutes of the first half remained when the next chance was created. A West Auckland cross picked out Purewal, but his header was too high.

A minute later, at the other end, Newcastle Benfield almost broke the deadlock. Dennis Knight’s pass found Jake Orrell who drove towards goal. He took aim from 16 yards, but his effort crashed back off the crossbar.

In first half injury time, West Auckland’s Lewis Dodds forced a save from Grainger, before Alex Francis forced a save from Shane Bland at the other end.

Following the break, West Auckland had a chance in the 48th minute. Mitchell’s good work down the wing saw him pick out Snaith, but his dinked effort landed on the roof of the net.

Bland forced a powerful Benfield effort in the 55th minute, before Knight stabbed an effort wide for West Auckland.

On the hour mark, Knight’s effort could only find the side netting for Benfield.

A superb save from Bland prevented a deflected Paul Brayson effort in the 70th minute, before James Martin was also denied by Bland after showing good strength to get a shot away.

Newcastle Benfield edged the second half, and they were looking the more likely to score late on. Brayson and Dale Pearson both had late efforts for the Newcastle outfit, but they couldn’t find a goal and it was to be decided on penalties.

Despite Benfield stopper Grainger saving Nathan Fisher’s first penalty, Bland then produced saves to deny Benfield’s Reece Noble and Dean Holmes.

Mitchell, Snaith and Denver Morris all tucked away their penalties for West Auckland, and Colquhoun scoring their fifth penalty meant West Auckland Town won 4-3 on penalties.

Congratulations to West Auckland Town.

Full-time: Newcastle Benfield 0-0 West Auckland Town (West Auckland Town win 4-3 on penalties)

Next up for me is Hartlepool United vs Salford City on Saturday unless I get to a game on Wednesday.

Newcastle Benfield: Grainger, Evans, Martin, Turnbull (c), Thompson, Robson (Holmes, 86′), Noble, Slaughter, Brayson, Orrell, Knight (Pearson, 77′)

Unused subs: Novak, Parker, Elliott

West Auckland Town: Bland, Mitchell, Price, Cobain, Hunter, Portas (Colquhoun, 66′), Hegarty (Fisher, 56′), Dodds (c), Purewal, Snaith, Francis (Morris, 84′)

Unused subs: Burnicle, Coulson

Admission: £6 adults, £3 concessions

Programme: £2 (But I didn’t get one as it was a double edition with Friday’s cup final and I got one there)

Attendance: 472

Referee: James Bancroft

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Durham Women vs Millwall Lionesses

Yesterday’s Easington report I did was probably less informative than normal. That was because I was trying to do what is basically an impossible task – film a whole match while still doing regular Twitter and Facebook updates. Because of this, the updates/notes I took were less regular and less informative and this had an influence on the report. Ideally, I’ll be looking to find someone who will film and edit all of Easington’s home games next season. It’ll be even better if I can find a photographer as well as someone to film the games. I was only doing it as a one off for a University module. I’ll be honest, filming a whole football match isn’t my favourite thing in the world. Although I’ve only got five or six games on my forthcoming fixtures page, I will hopefully have a few more than that. The others that I’ll go to are likely to be of a very low level or in Scotland. If Berwick finish bottom of Scottish League Two, I will probably go to their play-off game against East Kilbride or Cove Rangers.

Match report:

Durham grind out Millwall win

Durham Women claimed all three points in a 1-0 win over Millwall Lionesses at New Ferens Park on Sunday afternoon.

Emily Roberts’ 69th minute goal proved the difference between the sides, and it means Durham keep the pressure on Tottenham and Charlton.

It was hard work for Durham. They dominated the majority of the game but couldn’t find a breakthrough until Roberts’ fine individual effort.

Upon kick-off, Nicki Gears fired wide for Durham inside two minutes, and then Zoe Ness had an effort just evade the goal with five minutes on the clock.

Roberts and Beth Hepple then had further efforts for the Wildcats, and it was all Durham in the opening quarter of an hour.

Millwall’s first half chance fell to Annie Rossiter in the 21st minute, but her ambitious long-range effort was deflected to safety.

A quiet period then followed, but Durham were certainly the brighter team.

Millwall’s Rhiannon Stewart pulled off a fine save to prevent Roberts on the half hour mark.

The Millwall stopper seemed determined to always play out of the back rather than going long, and it was putting her defenders under pressure all game. Gears and Ness were closing them down, but the Millwall defence did well to deal with it throughout.

Sarah Wilson was next to try her luck for Durham, but her long range effort was comfortable enough for Stewart.

Just before the break, a couple of Durham corners caused some problems for the visitors. The first corner was played short to Hepple, and her ball into the penalty area found a way to the back post where it was cleared off the line. Durham had another corner seconds later, but once it was lifted into the penalty area, Abby Holmes could only steer her header wide.

Following the break, Durham had a chance in the 49th minute. Hepple picked out Ness, and she took control before her curling effort darted narrowly wide.

Holmes then headed just wide, before Ness had an effort saved by Stewart in the Millwall goal.

A couple of injuries and substitutions made the game flat for a few minutes, but Durham soon regained their momentum.

Sarah Robson headed wide in the 67th minute, before the breakthrough finally came two minutes later. Roberts picked up the ball in a wide position before cutting in to beat numerous Millwall players. On the corner of the penalty area, the former Doncaster Rovers Belles winger looked up before curling a fine effort into the far corner to give Stewart no chance.

Having fallen behind, Millwall starting to put some pressure on Durham. In the 74th minute, a training ground move saw a corner find Gabby Ravenscroft on the edge of the penalty area, but her effort sailed well over over the crossbar.

Following a short quiet spell, Millwall had Stewart to thank for keeping the deficit at only one. Roberts’ pull back picked out Ness, but her shot was saved by Stewart at point-blank range.

However, Millwall couldn’t muster any further chances and Durham took the points.

Full-time: Durham Women 1-0 Millwall Lionesses

Next up for me is Newcastle Benfield vs West Auckland Town tomorrow.

Durham Women: Borthwick, Holmes, Christon, Wilson (c), Hill, Robson, Robertson, Hepple, Roberts, Gears, Ness

Subs (all unused): Reid, Cottam, Greenwood, Ryan

Millwall Lionesses: Stewart, Mackie, Casley, Priest, Lumsden, Ravenscroft (Young, 78′), Clarke (c), Fitzgerald, Rossiter (Giddings, 64′), Neville (Caltado, 58′), Robert

Unused subs: Bailes, Stovold, Peart, Bailey

Admission: £5 adults, £2 concessions

Programme: £2

Attendance: 355

Teamsheet: Free with programme

Referee: Craig Dean

Chips and Lucozade Sport: £3.60

Easington Colliery vs Ryton & Crawcrook Albion

Colliers beaten by Ryton

Easington Colliery were beaten 1-3 at home to Ryton & Crawcrook Albion on the final day of the Northern League Division Two season on Saturday afternoon.

Sam Norris put the visitors ahead in the 41st minute, and Mason Stephenson doubled their lead only four minutes later.

Liam Adamson halved the deficit early in the second half, but Jack Cooper’s superb free-kick ensured Ryton took the points.

It was a typical end of season game in truth. With both sides having nothing to play for, and with beautiful weather at the Welfare Park, it was a calm affair.

Upon kick-off, it was a quiet start. The Colliers had a couple of corners, but there was little worthy of note.

The first half chance for the Colliers came in the 12th minute. Kieran Mitchell’s cross found Kyle Middleton at the back post, but his difficult header bounced wide.

A minute later, the same man had a better chance. This time it was down to his individual work as he darted past a couple of Ryton players, but his eventual shot was narrowly wide.

Adamson then had a couple of half chances come and go.

Ryton were also creating chances though, and a big chance for the visitors came in the 27th minute when Scott Jasper worked it into Cooper, but his shot was crucially blocked by Mitchell.

Stephenson then fired over for the visitors, before Cooper had a similar effort go wide.

In the 41st minute, Ryton and Crawcrook Albion broke the deadlock. Stephensons ball into the middle found Norris, and his calm finish put the visitors in command.

Their lead was to be doubled less than four minutes later. A corner was punched to Stephenson on the edge of the area, and his drilled effort picked out the bottom corner.

Following the break, Adamson halved the deficit with the first chance. In a clever goal, James Talbot dinked a quick free-kick over the wall to find Adamson and he drilled an effort into the far bottom corner.

In the 53rd minute, the Colliers could have been level. Adamson looked to turn provider as his cross picked out Middleton, whose effort on the stretch was just over.

A few half chances then fell Ryton’s way, before Adamson’s effort from the edge of the penalty area was saved by Stefan Holden.

Exactly halfway through the second half, Ryton regained their two goal cushion. Cooper took responsibility of a 25-yard free-kick, and he curled an inch perfect effort over the wall and into the top corner.

Mitchell then had an acrobatic effort for the Colliers go just over, before Michael Cooke’s volley was saved.

Talbot was next to shoot over for the Colliers.

Despite the chances for the Colliers, Ryton were also creating chances. Stephenson, Jasper and Norris all had efforts come to nothing.

Inside the final 10 minutes, Niall McGoldrick had an effort blocked for the Colliers.

And, with their final chance, the Colliers hit the woodwork. A dinked cross found Josh Home-Jackson at the back post, but his poked effort hit the top of the crossbar.

In truth though, it was comfortable for Ryton in the second half, and they finished their Northern League campaign with a win.

Full-time: Easington Colliery 1-3 Ryton & Crawcrook Albion

Next up for me is Durham Women vs Millwall Lionesses tomorrow.

Easington Colliery: Finch, Ball, Ashton, Green (Home-Jackson, 46′), McGoldrick, Hall (c) (Cooke, 68′), Mitchell, MacDougall (Garside, 56), Adamson, Talbot, Middleton

Unused sub: Naylor

Ryton & Crawcrook Albion: Holden (c), Below, Moody, Turnbull, Barker (Collins, 46′), Davis, Stephenson (Hepple, 73′), Luke, Jasper, Cooper (Agostinho, 73′), Norris

Unused subs: Hedley, Henderson

Admission: £5 adults, £2 concessions

Programme: £1.50

Attendance: 108

Referee: Tom Ross

Hartlepool United vs FC Halifax Town

I had been contemplating what game(s) to do today since my last game on Wednesday night. The options I had given myself were Chester-le-Street Town vs Northallerton at Billingham Town in the Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup final, Hartlepool United vs FC Halifax Town in the National League and Billingham Sythonia vs Redcar Athletic in Northern League Division Two. I was always going to do one, probably two, and possibly even all three. It was only this morning that I decided to do the cup final and then Hartlepool but not Billingham Synthonia. The main reason I didn’t do Synners was because of the wait between the two games. I would have had quite a long wait in either Hartlepool or Norton between the two games seeming as though it didn’t kick off until 19:30. After the cup final at Billingham Town, it was quite a rush to get to this game, but I arrived just on kick-off. Having seen that Billingham Synthonia finished 5-5 tonight, I kind of regret not going!

Match report:

Pools come from behind to beat Halifax

Hartlepool United came from behind to claim a 2-1 win over FC Halifax Town on Friday afternoon.

Former Hartlepool forward Devante Rodney put Halifax ahead in the 14th minute, but Luke James pulled Hartlepool level in the 32nd minute.

Hartlepool’s winner came through Luke Molyneux seven minutes into the second half.

The win lifts Hartlepool to 14th in the National League.

Hartlepool started well, and they created a chance with just two minutes played. Gavan Holohan found room to cross, and his ball found Nicke Kabamba whose header was narrowly too high.

With Halifax’s first chance, Manny Duku did well to win possession in a dangerous area. He cut in to take aim, but his shot was narrowly wide of the bottom corner.

James then went close for Hartlepool, before Cameron King fired wide at the other end.

In the 14th minute, Halifax broke the deadlock. Peter Kioso was caught trying to play out of the back, and Halifax worked the ball into King. He picked out Rodney who slotted home to score against his former club.

Pools responded with an effort from Holohan, but then Halifax had chances Rodney, King and Duku.

It was certainly an entertaining first half with both sides having plenty of chances.

The lively Holohan forced a good save from Halifax’s Sam Johnson in the 21st minute, before a quiet period followed.

Molyneux was next to take aim on the half hour mark with a long-range strike for the hosts, but Johnson was equal to it.

Sunderland loanee Molyneux was the creator as his teasing cross picked out James whose flicked effort nestled into the far corner.

Matty Kosylo forced a routine save from Scott Loach as the visitors looked to regain their lead.

Ryan Donaldson’s effort for Hartlepool was saved in the 39th minute, before Kioso could only find the side-netting soon after.

Just 25 seconds into the second half, Hartlepool went close to taking the lead. A cross picked out Donaldson in the penalty area, but his eight-yard header was narrowly too high.

However, Hartlepool were to deservedly take the lead in the 53rd minute. It was fairly simple as Holohan’s pass picked out Molyneux in the penalty area and he was allowed far too much time. With plenty of time, Molyneux took control of the ball before calmly slotting past Johnson to put Pools ahead.

Having fallen behind, Halifax then had a decent spell of possession, but they weren’t threatening Hartlepool in any way.

Kosylo curled a dangerous free-kick into the Hartlepool wall in the 69th minute, before Matty Brown headed harmlessly wide for the Shaymen.

Two minutes after Kosylo had hit the wall with his dangerous free-kick, Rodney took responsibility of another dangerous free-kick for the visitors. Rodney managed to get it over the wall, but it was also over the crossbar.

Hartlepool were managing the game well late on, and a few substitutions were helping their cause.

Josh Staunton and King had half chances for the West Yorkshire outfit late on, but they couldn’t find an equaliser and Hartlepool took all three points.

Full-time: Hartlepool United 2-1 FC Halifax Town

Next up for me is Easington Colliery vs Ryton & Crawcrook Albion tomorrow.

Hartlepool United: Loach, Kioso, Edgar, Kerr, Anderson, Holohan (Noble, 74′), Featherstone, Donaldson (c), Molyneux (Bale, 90′), James, Kabamba

Unused subs: Catterick, Muir, Amos

FC Halifax Town: Johnson, Clarke, Brown (c), Staunton, Kosylo, King, Berrett, Duku (Gondoh, 65′), Rodney, Skarz, Hanson (Freedman, 72′)

Unused subs: Preston, Rowley, Quigley

Admission: £20/£18 adults, £10/£9 concessions

Attendance: 3,018 (178 from Halifax)

Programme: Yes, but I didn’t manage to get one

Chips and bottle of Coke: £3.50

Referee: Simeon Lucas

Chester-le-Street Town vs Northallerton Town

It’s actually been a few years since I was last at an Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup final. I wasn’t at last year’s double header at Consett, and I didn’t watch the final the year before either. The last time I watched the final of the Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup was in 2015-2016 when Northallerton Town beat Ryhope CW. Mind, this season, I’ve now seen a game in every round apart from the semi-finals. I was at the first round tie between Easington Colliery and Billingham Town, and then I was at Thornaby vs Bedlington Terriers in the second round. In the quarter-finals, I was at Northallerton Town vs Jarrow FC. This game today was my 142nd of the day and means I’ve definitely beat last season’s tally of 141.

Match report:

Northallerton Town win Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup

Northallerton Town won the Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup with a 3-0 win against Chester-le-Street Town at Billingham Town on Friday afternoon.

Nicky Martin put Northallerton ahead in just the fourth minute, but it took until the 48th minute for Martin to double that lead.

Damon Reaks sealed the win late on, and Northallerton Town have now won three of the last four Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup finals.

Within the opening three minutes, Chester-le-Street had a good chance to take the lead. A deep corner picked out Scott Robson at the back post, but his top corner bound header was saved by Steven Hubery.

Just a minute later, with their first chance, Northallerton broke the deadlock. A ball across goal picked out Martin who was allowed too much time. He still had work to do, but he did just that and slotted the ball into the bottom corner.

The game then settled down, with no real chances for either side.

A long delay started in the 17th minute due to an injury to Chester-le-Street’s Robson. A through ball gave him a chase, and Northallerton goalkeeper Hubery came charging out. Both were certainly entitled to go for the ball, and they clattered into each other with Robson coming out worse. Hubery did get there in time to head the ball clear. After a 10 minute delay, Robson was stretchered off.

Although there was plenty of effort from both sides, there wasn’t a great deal of goalmouth action.

In the 35th minute, Northallerton worked the ball into Martin who tried to lob the ‘keeper. His effort was blocked, possibly with a hand, but the referee waved away the penalty appeals.

A towering Chester-le-Street header was saved by Hubery a minute later.

Deep into first half injury time, a Chester-le-Street cross wasn’t dealt with by the North Yorkshire outfit. A couple of opportunities came from it, but Northallerton blocked both and eventually cleared.

With the final chance of the first half, Richard Walker headed wide for Northallerton.

Following the break, Chester-le-Street’s Andrew Clarkson rose to meet a Joe Grant cross, but his header looped up in the air and was an easy take for Hubery.

In the 48th minute, Martin collected his and Northallerton’s second of the afternoon. The ball was worked down the left wing and a cross picked out Reaks whose header forced a good save from Max Coombes. However, the rebound fell to Martin who fired home from six yards.

The Cestrians then had a good spell with a few chances. Alex Walker rose to meet Craig Marron’s inswinging free-kick in the 52nd minute, but a good save from Hubery pushed Walker’s header behind. The resulting corner found Clarkson, but another good save from Hubery denied Clarkson. A third corner then found Walker again, but this time, his header was too high.

Another quiet period then followed with the action being interrupted by substitutions.

The game was 83 minutes old when the next chance was created. Kieran Megran burst down the wing before drilling a low ball across the face of goal, but Hubery crucially made the ball his.

A crucial block then prevented Michael Hepplewhite, but despite a couple of half chances, Chester-le-Street didn’t look like scoring.

And, in the 90th minute, Northallerton wrapped up the win. Reaks stole possession from a Chester-le-Street defender before charging down on goal and finishing well.

It was a comfortable win for Northallerton in the end, who have now won the competitions three times in the past four years.

Congratulations to Northallerton Town.

Best wishes to Chester-le-Street’s Robson who was stretchered off and taken to hospital.

Full-time: Chester-le-Street Town 0-3 Northallerton Town

Next up for me is Easington Colliery vs Ryton & Crawcrook Albion tomorrow.

Chester-le-Street Town: Coombes, Stephenson, Turnbull (Henderson, 56′), Marron (c) (Lyon, 73′), Walker, Dixon, King, Grant, Robson (Clarkson, 26′), Megran, Michael Hepplewhite

Unused subs: Daniel Hepplewhite, Greaves

Northallerton Town: Hubery, Ramsbottom, Proctor, Cheeseman, Jones (c), Elgie, Reaks, Shepherd, Martin (Swales, 90+2′), Walker (Rowe, 65′), Emms (McKendry, 65′)

Unused subs: Peacock, Richardson

Admission: £6 adults, £3 concessions

Attendance: 487

Programme: £2

Teamsheet: Free

Referee: Adam Nichol

Can of Sprite and Mars Bar: £2

Easington Colliery vs Willington

Colliers game with Willington abandoned at half-time

Easington Colliery’s home game against Willington on Thursday night was abandoned at half-time due to floodlight failure.

It was 1-1 at the time, and Willington were down to 10 men.

David Vincent had put the Colliers ahead when he headed home James Talbot’s ninth minute cross.

In the 28th minute, Willington goalkeeper Craig Hannant was sent off. His poor clearance fell straight to Talbot who went for goal from 30 yards. Talbot’s effort was going in, but Hannant jumped to handle the ball outside the penalty area and the referee had no option but to dismiss the Willington stopper.

Vincent took the resulting free-kick but it was saved.

Around half an hour of the first half was played when the floodlights went out.

In the 32nd minute, Willington pulled level. Ryan Cummings’ good work down the wing saw him cut in and drill a ball across the face of goal where Matty Moffat volleyed home.

At half-time, the floodlights were still out. It was due to a fault with the generator.

Despite Easington’s best efforts, the generator wasn’t working and referee Givi Todua had no option but to abandon the game at half-time.

Abandoned at half-time: Easington Colliery 1-1 Willington

Next up for me is whatever I do tomorrow!

Easington Colliery: Finch, Ball, Ashton, Green, Graham-Bage, Hall, Vincent (c), MacDougall, Adamson, Talbot, Middleton

Unused subs: Michael Cooke, Devine, Niven

Willington: Hannant, Cummings, Fenwick, Graham, Shields, Owen, Thompson, Smith (c), Moffat, Thexton, Ruddy

Unused subs: Oldfield, Winter

Admission: £5 adults, £2 concessions

Programme: £1.50

Referee: Givi Todua

Hartlepool FC vs Horden CW

Tonight was the start of a busy spell for me. After this game, I’ll be at Easington tomorrow, possibly three games on Friday, and I also have games Saturday, Sunday and Monday. But, after Easter Monday, it all drastically slows down. With most of the north east leagues having fewer teams this season, and with the weather having been not too bad, all of the leagues finish earlier than normal. I’ll do well to get to a game between Monday and next Saturday. After that, I’ll just be going to what I can when I can. This was the only game I was going to go to tonight. Two good clubs on a decent night playing in an entertaining game – perfect.

Match report:

Hartlepool FC come from behind to beat Horden

Hartlepool FC came from behind to claim a narrow 3-2 win over local rivals Horden CW on Wednesday night.

Peter Crawford put Horden ahead in the sixth minute, and that lead was doubled through Robbie Renwick’s superb strike in the 11th minute.

Jamie Tumilty halved the deficit in the 18th minute, and Horden kept Hartlepool at bay until the 75th minute when Matty Gardner pulled FC level.

The winner came through Gardner again in the 80th minute, and Hartlepool held on to claim the three points.

With just 55 seconds played, Hartlepool had a great chance to break the deadlock. Ashley Clark whipped a cross into the penalty area, and an initial header was saved. The rebound fell to Gardner, but he could only blaze over from six yards.

With their first chance, in the sixth minute, Horden took the lead. Josh Broom’s superb ball over the top picked out Crawford. He outmuscled his man to put him through on goal, and a composed finish put the visitors ahead.

Renwick then fired over from 20 yards for Horden, before the same man was played in. He got a shot away, but Josh Noble did well to save with his legs.

With his next chance, Renwick got on the scoresheet. FC cleared the ball as far as Renwick 25 yards from goal, and his superb first time strike dipped over Noble and into the net.

Horden were now firmly in control, but Hartlepool halved the deficit just seven minutes later. Clark dinked a ball over and it was left by Jay Mclean to find Tumilty. He found the slightest bit of room before running into the bottom corner. It was quite a simple goal from the hosts, but it was all too easy of a goal to concede from a Horden point of view.

A quiet period then followed. Both sides were looking dangerous going forward, but no real chances were being created.

Hartlepool had started well but were second best after going behind. However, towards the end of the first half, they picked up their game again. In the 38th minute, the ball was worked to Gardner at the back post who fired home, but he was offside.

Clark was then denied by Horden goalkeeper Shay Adamson, before seconds later, at the other end, Hartlepool eventually survived a scramble in their six-yard box.

Horden then survived a scramble in the penalty area, before Hartlepool had the ball in the net. An inswinging corner went all the way through to the back post, and it bounced into the roof of the net. Despite clearly hitting the roof of the net, neither the referee or his assistant saw the ball cross the line and Horden survived.

Following the break, a crucial block prevented Hartlepool’s Clark in the 49th minute.

In the 54th minute, Horden could have doubled their lead. A route one ball gave Renwick a chase, and he got there to drill a first time effort towards goal. Noble did well to save, and a superb block also denied Renwick’s rebound.

On the hour mark, Horden’s Matty Hughes had a curling effort saved. “That one was a back pass,” said his dad David.

Tumilty then tried his luck with a bicycle kick for the hosts, but it darted wide.

Halfway through the second half, another ball over the top played Renwick in for Horden. Had he scored, it may well have sealed the points for the visitors, but his effort trickled wide.

Four minutes later, Horden had another great chance. It was basically a carbon copy of Renwick’s chance, but this time it was Liam Appleby. Just alike the previous chance, Appleby’s effort trickled wide.

And, Horden would be made to pay for missed chances. In the 75th minute, patient build up play down the left wing eventually saw a cross find Gardner at the back post. He was allowed a few touches before turning and firing an effort into the roof of the net.

Within 15 seconds of his introduction as a substitute, Horden’s Barney Dobinson picked out Renwick, but his 20-yard effort was too high.

Mclean then had an effort deflected wide for Hartlepool.

The resulting corner led to Hartlepool taking the lead. It was floated towards the back post, and Gardner’s header picked out the bottom corner via a slight deflection.

Having fallen behind for a first time, Horden went in search of an equaliser.

Renwick drilled a low ball across the face of goal in the 86th minute, but no Horden shirts were to to convert.

In truth, Hartlepool defended well late on, and they kept Horden’s chances at a premium.

Renwick did have one more chance for Horden as he fired over from 18 yards, but that proved to be that, and Hartlepool took the points.

Full-time: Hartlepool FC 3-2 Horden CW

Next up for me is Easington Colliery vs Willington tomorrow.

Hartlepool FC: Noble, Mulvey, Swales (c), Osborne, Cope, Garthwaite (Wilson, 73′), Clark (Waller, 60′), Wignall, Tumilty, Mclean, Gardner

Unused subs: Blackburn, Lewis

Horden CW: Adamson, Broom, Cowie (Appleby, 66′), Hughes, Moss, Ryder, Bell (Dobinson, 77′), Crawford, Hodgson, Renwick, Bowes (c)

Unused subs: Davidson, Purvis, Blades

Admission: £2 adults, £1 concessions

Attendance: About 60

Referee: Gregg Hargrave