Friday, 24 April 2015

18th April - Jarrow Roofing (a)

All my excited on the drive to the game was about how Jarrow Roofing had so many roofs around their ground. This was based on my previous visit a few years ago when I had dragged the family out for their traditional Bank Holiday visit to watch the Bay. The Boy Mark's excitement knew no bounds as he entered the famous home of Roofs!
Wot no roofs?
Imagine our disappointment as we looked around us to find that the number of covered sections had been drastically reduced: probably due to ludicrous health and safety guidelines. It was like meeting an old girlfriend (who you had only been out with once) and finding out she wasn't quite as good looking as you had imagined as she had chopped off all her beautiful flowing locks to be replaced by a crew cut! It was hard to hold back the tears...but I managed it, just. Health and safety had deprived us both! At least the Haway the Roofers sign was still there!

Nice seats....
In the absence of the roof, though there was the bonus of a spot to put the match programme on. One of the posts that had held up the old roof made an extremely useful table for what was an extremely interesting programme. Normally I only buy a programme to get the team news and try to work out who is who on the pitch but the Jarrow programme was a really good read. It was on shiny paper and there were notes from the manager, assistant, captain and a supporter. Each one seemed to have different memories and experiences to relate, something rare to find in these days of rent-a-quotes. There was also a good article on the Chow-ster, now a Jarrow player which told about how he had ended up signing for the Bay. A top read and surprising that it was only runner-up to West Allotment Celtic for Northern League programme of the year: a programme that I had missed out on after arriving late at the WAC away game a few weeks earlier. Probably Barry had bought them all for the alternative dimension that is his programme shop. These two clubs should be an inspiration for the rest of the Northern League and make other teams realise that writing a programme isn't something that just gets dumped on one hard-working person, it is a club effort from the manager, sponsors to the supporters: their supporter claimed he was on the roof (is £6 really too much to pay? A good programme is something that can be used to promote the club and its sponsors if used in the right way....nobody wants to read the same old thing every week! This certainly was a good read. Well done, Jarrow!
All alone but Robbie is back!
Tearing myself away from the programme it was good to see the lads with smiles on their faces. Maybe Paddy is a bit of a misery on the touchline but his assistants seemed to be encouraging the one-touch games with positivity as well as a good amount of banter during them. In the far corner, Robbie B was doing some stretching with the physio, or was he playing "Row, row your boat?". But the good news was that he was dressed and ready to less to worry about and great to see him back.

The first half was an exciting affair as both teams threatened and it was also good to see Watling putting himself about, getting on the end of forward passes and using his frame to protect the ball much better than he had been doing. Cavey, was having a storming game and seemed to be involved in everything. Blandford managed a cracking shot too so it was a shock to see Jarrow score first. The Jarrow striker Dan Kirkup found himself with only Sean McC to beat, which he did confidently. But the Bay didn't give up and stormed back; and what a goal it was. Watling found himself on the edge of the penalty area and he curled the ball into the top corner. There was a brief pause as we watched the ball loop in but it was a delightful strike from a rejuvenated Watling: all of 20yards according to the club's Twitter.
Neither keeper nor fans can bear
 to look at that shirt!
The only down point from the first half was the return of that horrible grey goalkeeping jersey. The Boy Mark and I have decided we will buy the club a new jersey if it will mean the retirement of that awful shirt. As the teams left the field it was clear that McCafferty couldn't bear to look at it...and neither could the crowd...get rid of it! While you are at it, Mr Chairman please give us some shirts to be proud of...ditch the Wembley ones please, you could even sell some at the club shop!
Yet more excitement followed as we visited Jan's Tea Hut. Although I was disappointed with the missing apostrophe on Jan's, we weren't disappointed with the chips, mine with curry sauce, which were extremely crispy and very welcome. Although if The Boy Mark's wife is reading he had no chips at all....

The second half was noticeable for the amount of arguing with the ref from both sides as he struggled to keep hold of a very physical game but the Bay dominated and could easily have scored the winner on a number of occasions. Fierce Roofing defending kept the visitors out. At the end we were disappointed to come away with only a draw but Jarrow deserved something for the determination they had shown throughout. 
The sun was still shining as we left the ground and apart from the missing roofing and the grey jersey it had been an extremely pleasant afternoon.


  1. Interesting read, thanks. Always good to see someone blogging about the NL and glad you enjoyed the visit. I share your pain about that apostrophe, by the way...

  2. Thanks. Glad you enjoyed it and shared the pain!

  3. Thanks. Glad you enjoyed it and shared the pain!