Saturday, 17 October 2015

6th and 13th October - Two teams in red

Northumberland Senior Cup - Team Northumbria

I wondered on the way to the ground, if Team North were to become the ultimate yoyo team in the Northern League as they built up a new team only for every third year lose their best players as they graduate and head off elsewhere. I remember them coming to Hillheads a couple of years (maybe 3?) ago and their young bucks tearing apart the Bay team 5-0. The sad part of it all had been that they had had no fans there to chat to, hear celebrate and it had been a small crowd anyway. They weren't exactly a big what had been the point of them playing in our league? Surely there were enough university teams for them to play against?
But then we did have Team North to thank for the likes of Jennison, Richardson and Bertram so some good things had come out of their existence.
Tonight's game was always going to be overshadowed by the forthcoming FA Cup match and the game wasn't much to write about, so I won't say much.
Concern over the appearance of
this ancient horde of glass...
There was an influx of small people who 'sung' their way through the first half, confusing most people with their hatred of Grimsby and love for Gateshead. They also made good use of the bins and signage around the ground to add a samba-type rhythm to their 'music'. The consensus seemed to be that they were Gateshead fans on a jolly (the Heed were playing Grimsby and lost) to the Bay. They couldn't have got to Grimsby by the time they had finished school so had settled for a seaside night out.
The Fog!
At half time, there was concern at the amount of glass that a small child had collected from the soil behind the goal and placed in a neat pile but thankfully that pile had disappeared by the next fixture. Probably picked up by a collector who had then sold it on for a small had been that old!
The second half carried on in an uninspiring way and The Boy Mark started worrying about the possibility of extra time and the need to pick his son up from babysitting duties. Also of note was the fact that a scarily dense fog was descending on hillheads, a bit like the film where a bunch of passengers on a leprosy ship had run aground on rocks and then terrorised the town near where they had died. Luckily there was no need for us to hide in a church and wait for a scary dude to come along with a great big sword. Instead, for Team North, it turned out to be Alex Kempster who ghosted in through the fog and latched onto a weak backpass before slotting past the keeper in the second minute of added time.
Alex didn't need a scimitar - only a trusty boot!

League - Shildon (h)

So this was what a league match was like? A bit like a cup match but without as much excitement and a smaller crowd.
Half-time pot-holes!
Still waiting for the council to
 fill them in.
Maestro Moira rattled her pans
....billboard , really.
The Boy Mark and I were finally able to use our season ticket again and were delighted when Shanks applied some nifty footwork to set up Liam Hudson (I'm not going to call him will have to keep searching for a nickname). He slammed a super header past ex Whitley super-keeper-who-then-ran-off-to-Spendymoor. This came slightly against the run of play as Shildon had been taking control and Jennison was having to be on his metal throughout the first half. With half time in sight it was Josh Day who was called upon to prevent a certain goal, throwing his body in the way of a strike.
There was bad new ten minutes in the second half when Jennison went down clutching his hand and despite bravely trying to carry on, had to be replaced by Dan Gladstone. The youngster looked extremely nervous and had a few scares at the start of his spell back in goal.
Barry the wandering minstrel tried to cheer the Bay players up with his song "Shanksy for the music...", originally performed by Abba, and even his joke about toilet seats in Ashington failed to put off Kyle Hayes as the Bay failed to test our ex-keeper-who-then-ran-off-to-Spendymoor.
The visitors finally found the net when a scramble ended up with a header in the 72nd minute. Then with four minutes left, a catalogue of errors finished with Josh Day scoring an own goal.
A fair result in the end and one we would have taken at the start of the night. But the big question remains as to whether Dan is ready to fill the big shoes that have been left him.

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