Jarrow 1 Chester-le-Street Town 0 – Ebac Northern League Division Two:

Both teams have struggled so far this season, but this win will give Jarrow some much-needed confidence, while Chester-le-Street Town weren’t able to reproduce their barnstorming performance against Birtley less than a week ago.

While not trying to damn the game with feint praise, it was a “steady as she goes” match rather than one played with much gusto.  The two teams were set up and played in much the same way and they seemed to cancel each other out.

While not quite worth the admission fee, Daniel Smith’s 8th minute winner was a peach.  A cross by left winger Abubaker Salim was only cleared as far as Smith who swung a boot, hitting a first-time volley that left Cestrian keeper Kieran Hunter rooted to the spot.

The visitors almost levelled it just before the half-hour mark.  The ball was pushed up to Nick Marley who knocked it back to Mark Pattison whose shot was pushed out for a corner with a fingertip save by Jarrow keeper Graeme Pickering.

Most of the other chances of the half were half chances at best.  In the second half, the woodwork took a bit of a pounding.

A good turn by Marley gave him the space to find Joshua Akal who hit a rasping shot off the post.  Then it was Jarrow’s turn.  Evan Whittle was given a bit of space a couple of yards outside the area and there didn’t seem to be too much danger for Chester-le-Street; the No. 10 looked up and let fly, with the ball dipping  and hitting the bar.

As the second half progressed, Jarrow seemed to grow in confidence and looked the sharper of the two teams.  They were to batter the woodwork a few more times.

No. 7 Bradley Tyrie hit a shot that came off the post before coming to Abubaker Salim who followed suit and also hit the post with his follow-up shot.  Three minutes later they were at it again.  A break down the right saw Whittle pass to substitute Andrew Bowie who hit a shot from a tight angle that also ricocheted off the woodwork.

There were a few nervy moments in added time as Chester-le-Street pushed forward to try and find an equaliser, but Jarrow hung on for the three points.

Mike Snowdon

Penrith 0 Carlisle City 0 – Ebac Northern League Division One:

Surprisingly, it was the first two these two teams had met in an official league match.  And, despite the lack of goals, it was a joy to watch.

Plenty of pace, both teams committed to attacking and a “shoot on sight” policy in operation (even if a few too many of the efforts didn’t test the keepers).

The tone of the match was set from the off, with both sides having a couple of efforts – one off and one on target.  Carlisle left back Arron Bradbury was proving to be a speedy attacking option down the flank, while Penrith No. 111 Alfie Brunskill made several runs down the left.

Penrith were producing good approach play but couldn’t find the final pass.  Most of their shots were from the edge or outside the Carlisle area.

The teams continued to trade attacks.  One of the most threatening was when Callum Birdsall came close to getting behind the defence only for Andy Murry-Jones to produce an excellent sliding tackle to snuff out the danger.

Just after the half hour mark, Penrith No. 10 Jonny Murray had three shots, the third of which was the best – punched away by Carlisle keeper Lewis Boyd.  Then it was Penrith keeper Arran Taylor’s turn to deny Carlisle No. 10 Sam Atkinson.  And the hosts had James Best to thank for going into the break all square – clearing a Birdsall header off the line.

Carlisle had a couple of chances at the start of the second half, the best of which was a Birdsall hitting a shot saved with his legs by Taylor, followed by Atkinson with an effort that skimmed over the bar.

For the rest of the half Penrith looked the stronger of the two teams but had to wait to the closing minutes before creating their best opportunities to grab the points.  Best hit a free kick from wide right, more than 30 yards out.  At first it looked as though it was going well over, only to dip and bounce off the bar.  Brunskill then flicked the ball on to substitute Connor Shields in a promising postion, stopped by Peter Allison with a good tackle.  Best then knocked another ball into the six yard area but Luke Hunter couldn’t wrap his foot around the ball to score.  And then in the fourth minute of added time Brunskill tried to chip the keeper but Boyd was able to nudge it over the bar and, from the corner, Murray-Jones made a well-timed run, meeting the corner with a strong header that was pushed away.

No goals, but a really entertaining match.

And there was a bit of history at Ashington’s FA Cup game last night too – a record attendance at Woodhorn Lane for their great win against Stocksbridge Park Steels that sees them through to the fourth qualifying round, with a just the small matter of an away tie at Kings Lynn Town.

(PS – my investment in two golden goal tickets was, in hindsight, not the most sensible investment I’ve ever made.)

Mike Snowdon


There have been a number of fixture changes, including those brought about by Vase and FA Cup ties:

Friday 14th October 2022
Seaham Red Star v West Auckland (from 15/10)

Tuesday 18th October 2022
Whickham v Thornaby (from 04/02)

Saturday 22nd October 2022
Northallerton Town v West Allotment (from 22/04)
Bedlington Terriers v Prudhoe YCS (from 22/04)
Blyth Town v Sunderland West End (from 05/11)
Boldon CA v Boro Rangers (from 05/11)
Easington Colliery v Birtley Town (from 04/02)
Washington v Willington (from 18/02)

Tuesday 1st November 2022
Whitley Bay v Newton Aycliffe (from 22/10)

Wednesday 2nd November 2022
Northallerton Town v Bishop Auckland (from 22/10)

Friday, 4th November 2022

Easington Colliery v Brandon United (from 5/11)

Tuesday 6th December 2022
Whickham v Ashington (from 15/11)

Tuesday 27th December 2022
Prudhoe YC v Newcastle University (from 26/12)

Saturday 4th February 2023
Thornaby v Whickham (from 19/10)

Saturday 4th March 2023
Redcar Athletic v Ashington (from 04/10)
West Allotment Celtic v Thornaby (from 22/10)
Whickham v Penrith (from 22/10)
Newcastle University v Willington (from 22/04)

Friday 24th March 2023
West Auckland v Seaham Red Star (from 25/03)

Saturday 1st April 2023
Newton Aycliffe v Whitley Bay (from 11/10)
Horden CW v Boro Rangers (from 22/10)

Saturday 22nd April 2023
Prudhoe YC v Bedlington Terriers (from 22/10)
Willington v Newcastle University (from 22/10

Ashington have been drawn away to King’s Lynn Town in the fourth round qualifying of the Emirates FA Cup, if they win tomorrow’s replay against Stocksbridge Park Steels.

The tie will be held on Saturday, October 15 with the winners receiving £9,375 and the losers £3,125.

Tomorrow’s replay is at Woodhorn Lane and kick off is at 7.45pm.


Stocksbridge Park Steels 2 Ashington 2 – Emirates FA Cup third round qualifying:

It must have been a frustrating day for Ashington – their players, coaching staff and the fans (who turned up in force to support their team).

Pitched against a team at the next step up,  they dominated much of the play.  But they failed to convert their superiority into goals.  It was still an impressive result and keeps their great FA Cup run going.  They’re in the hat for the fourth round qualifying on Monday and host the replay on Tuesday.  They certainly have nothing to fear for round two of the cup tie.

From the off they played the better football.  After only six minutes Ben Sampson had a shot palmed over the bar by Steel keeper Harrison Davison-Hale.  The home club closed Ashington players down quickly and got plenty of men back when the Colliers attacked.

No. 9 Dan Maguire was constantly crowded out, with usually two, sometimes three players round him as he got the ball.  In the 33rd minute, a Dean Briggs shot was blocked by a defender, with a follow-up cross flying across the goalmouth.

It took until the closing 10 minutes of the half for Stocksbridge to put Ashington under any sustained pressure:  Tomas Poole with a dipping shot sent out for a corner; an attempted clearance from the corner bouncing off the top of the bar and another shot by Poole into the side netting.

At the start of the second half, Ashington continued to control the game and create the chances:  Sampson with a shot charged down by a defender, Briggs putting an effort a yard wide of the goal, Maguire attacking the goal only to be stopped with a great sliding tackle by Stocksbridge No. 5 Mitch Langton.

And then, out of the blue in the 63rd minute, Stocksbridge snatched the lead.  A ball from the left to the far post found captain Ross Goodwin who placed a powerful header into the net.  It could have knocked the stuffing out of the Colliers.  Instead they replied and levelled within seconds – Lee Mason meeting a cross from the left with a thumping shot into the Stocksbridge net.

And from then on in, the game stepped up several gears and turned into a classic cup-tie.  Stocksbridge came close to re-taking the lead two minutes after the equaliser.  A cross was hit low and hard from the right and No. 9 Luke Rawson was within inches of connecting with it with only Colliers keeper Karl Dryden to beat.

Then, with less than 20 minutes to go, Ashington were ahead.  Briggs chipped a free kick into the Stocksbridge area where defender Ben Harmison stuck out a foot to prod the ball past Davision-Hale.  But the tie was far from over, as shown by the frantic pacing in the technical area by the Ashington coaching staff.

Harmison’s goal prompted the home team to play their best football of the match:  Rawson with a turn and first time shot, with Dryden producing a fine save to his right and then Alex O’Connor hitting a superb long-range shot that skimmed off the right hand post.

Ashington replied in kind.  Maguire flicked the ball on with a header to Mason who spotted Davison-Hale off his line.  The Colliers No. 7 lobbed it over the keeper only for the ball to bounce off the bar.

And there was still time for a sting in the tale.  In the 85th minute Stocksbridge found an equaliser.  Ashington failed to clear a corner and Langton forced the ball home to make it 2-2.

So, it’s back to Woodhorn Lane on Tuesday.  A couple of hundred tickets have already been sold.  Good fun (and stressful) this cup mullarkey.

PS – there was a crowd of 429 at the game, at least half of whom came from Northumberland and they got behind their team from start to finish, producing a great atmosphere.

Mike Snowdon


Chester-le-Street Town 5-1 Birtley Town – Ebac Northern League Division Two

Chester-le-Street earned bragging rights in the local derby as they cruised past 10 man Birtley Town.

The hosts started the brighter of the two sides, looking like a side who were placed at the top end of the table. Birtley struggled to get a foot on the ball as the Cestrians put them to the sword.

Chester-le-Street took the lead 15 minutes in – Ellis Swinburn found Josh Akal at the back post, who headed home beyond Conor Grant.

Just 15 minutes later the Cestrians doubled their lead. Billy Harland slipped through Nick Marley before the forward placed his effort beyond Grant into the bottom corner.

Birtley pulled a goal back just 5 minutes before half time. Callum Smith robbed Kieron Beattie of possession in the Chester-le-Street half, before driving forward and smashing home past Kieran Hunter.

On the stroke of half time, the game swung in favour of the home side. Harland ran onto a through ball over the top of the Birtley defence before being brought down by Grant. The hosts were awarded a penalty, as Grant was dismissed by the referee.

Michael Hepplewhite stepped up and smashed the ball down the middle past substitute Isaac Robinson to give his side a commanding lead.

For the majority of the second half, Birtley performed well.  Down a man, they still provided a threat although Chester-le-Street dealt with the danger quite comfortably.

With 20 minutes remaining, the Cestrians added a fourth. A cross into the area was glanced home by Marley into the bottom corner.

Just two minutes after they scored their fourth, Chester-le-Street scored again. The Birtley defence failed to clear Regan Nixon’s cross, before Hepplewhite pounced and slotted home past Robinson to seal the three points for his side.

An off night for Birtley Town who find themselves five points off top, whilst the win sees Chester-le-Street Town create a small gap between those below them.

Adam Gill