Friday, 31 July 2009

Norton & Stockton Ancients 0 v 2 Whitby Town 31/07/09

We made the trip to Norton again tonight to see them take on Whitby Town. With the weather being better tonight the pitch was looking good and a nice surface to play on. Both teams made quite a lively start but it was Whitby who took the early initiative in the 14th minute when a through ball fell to their striker who controlled well, took it around two players and put the ball past the Norton keeper diving to his right. After that the game evened out with not many clear openings being made and both teams holding strong in defence. Then in the 43rd minute a pass was played into the Whitby forward who was given chance to turn and shoot from 20 yards out, the keeper failed to deal with the shot above his head and spilled the ball which trickled into the net to give Whitby a 2-0 lead going into half time. After my colleague's had being for their half time refreshments of burger and chips (which I am told where of a good standard) the second half got underway and immediately it seemed that both teams had taken their foot off the gas a bit with neither team attacking and trying to gain control of the game. Norton created the best of the chances with a few balls being crossed into the box and headers going just wide of the goal. They also created a 5 minute period of pressure in the final part of the game where they looked like they might grab a goal but they never managed to break down the Whitby defence or beat the keeper who had kept Norton out a few times during the game. The final whistle went and Whitby came away with the win having being the better team for most of the game, however it was a good run out for both sides and Norton can take many positives from the game having put in a respectable performance against a strong Whitby side.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Norton & Stockton Ancients 2 v 2 Guisborough Town 28/07/09

Tonight's game finished 2-2 with both teams having a good run out in the lovely weather of north east England (raining heavily!!!). Both teams took a while to get going with the opening 20 minutes not giving either keeper much to do. It was Guisborough who struck first when a long range shot was parried out by the Norton goal keeper straight into the path of the incoming Guisborough striker David Onions who slotted the ball home to give them a 1-0 lead which they took into half time. Not long after the restart Guisborough extended their lead to 2-0 when a through ball fell to David Onions again who finished well over the Norton Keeper. The game looked like it was done and dusted after that but Norton started to push on late into the second half and were becoming the dominant team and their effort was rewarded when they pulled a goal back when the Guisborough keeper couldn't hold onto a shot from the left and the incoming player slotted the ball home from 6 yards to make it 2-1. Norton then had the wind in their sails and not long after pulling one back they got the equaliser when a ball was played into the box from the right and the Norton forward controlled well with his first touch and with his second put the ball away in the bottom right hand corner to make it 2-2. After that no real openings where made and the game finished 2-2 and from Norton's point of view a good comeback, however Guisborough will feel like they should have come away with the win having being the better side for most of the game. Overall not a bad game after a slow start from both sides and the weather also did its bit making the pitch a hard surface to play on. Not too sure about the £4 admission fee as well but yet another enjoyable pre-season game non the less.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Super 7's hit the Road

With just 23 day left to the new season, the ATG group are eagerly anticipating an exciting season ahead. With the new boys in Division 2, and the change-of-fortunes with the new chairman in at Spennymoor, it promises to be one of the best seasons ahead. To make it all the more exciting, the four members of ATG (2 of us the website administrators and 2 other semi-hardcore supporters) are running our own "Super 7" Series over the season.
The rules are quite straight forward. We each put in 50p per round (i.e. each week), and have to guess the actual results of each game. 7/7 will win the jackpot up for grabs that week. If no one predicts the correct results, but guesses all the outcomes correctly, they will win 50% of the pot. Obviously, neither of these tasks will be easy. So each week, if there is no winner, the prize money is rolled over. So, by the end of the season, we could have a huge pot up for grabs!!
The exact result involves guessing the correct scoreline, and the correct outcome means you have the scoreline wrong, but have been right in saying Home Win, Away Win or Score Draw.
The fixtures for the 1st round of the season will be released in the coming days...

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Durham City 2 v 1 Whitley Bay 14/07/09

Game finished 2-1 to Durham City. Durham City scorers were Walton and Benjamin with both of their goals in the first half giving City a 2-0 half time lead. Whitley Bay pulled one back in the second half courtesy of Lee Kerr but it wasn't enough to prevent Durham City going on to take the win. A good start to their pre season so far for Durham City whilst Whitley Bay will be hoping to get a few wins under their belts before the start of the season on August the 8th.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Billingham Town 0v3 Darlington 10/07/09

A nice evening over Billingham set the perfect tone for the evening. The pitch was in immaculate condition at the newly-named Rowney Ltd. Arena. People turned out in force to see the game, and a strong Darlington contingent were present. I eagerly anticipated my 1st visit to the Tea Room before the game, as my memories of my last visit to the ground made my mouth water, and was not disappointed!! My 1st helping was a can of coke and a Mars Bar, which saw me through the 1st half.
The teams briskly made their way onto the pitch, and a certain Dean Windass brought up the tail for this new-look Darlington team. This man is; in my eyes a true footballer. He has dropped from the Premiership to League 2 in 1 season, and no doubt a big pay cut for the privilege. But he obviously doesn't care if he plays at Old Trafford or on the Rec on a Sunday morning. His game is brimming with passion. At 40, he could out-do any young player, for pace, strength, and size of meals!!! He will put his all in anywhere, and wouldn't be suprised to see him play at 50. When he had a rant at the linesman in the 1st half, he showed how much he cares about the game, whether it be a Championship Play-off Final at Wembley, or a Pre-Season friendly at Billingham Town. A top notch player, and a great bloke. If you read this Sir Dean, you are a football legend!!
Back to the game. Billingham matched Darlington in the opening exchanges, and weren't shown up early doors. In fact, they kept Darlington at bay until the 37th minute, when Windass scored an athletic overhead kick to give the visitors the lead. Before this, Darlington had a golden opportunity from a corner, with 2 efforts beating the keeper, but been blocked on the line by the same defender, who then cleared it out of the danger area.
Windass was at it again soon after, as he caressed a 20 yard free kick into the top left-hand corner of the net on 42 minutes to give Darlo a 2 goal advantage going into the second half.
Half-time saw me and my companions visit the Tea Hut again, this time to purchase one of the wonders of Non-League football: A Steak Burger!! One of the best half-time "snacks" I have sampled so far!!
Town came out fighting in the second half, and after 65 minutes Andy Burton had a good near post effort saved by the Darlington Keeper, and 20 minutes later Town saw another great effort tipped over. Sandwiched between these chances, Darlington's young centre forward rattled the bar, and in the 90th minute, Darlington's dynamic number 7 playing centre midfield chipped the ball over his man, and slid it across the face of goal for an easy tap-in for the centre forward.
Billingham Town gave a very good account of themselves, and should look forward to a successful season in SNL1.
Admission: £5

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Penrith FC 0v2 Gretna 08/07/09

We attended our first pre-season game of the 2009-10 season last night. We made the trip up to Southend Road for what is one of the last games to be played there before Penrith FC make the move to there new ground Frenchfields.
The game went as a true pre-season game would. Play was quite slow with neither team looking to push forward early on. After around 25 minutes, Gretna stepped it up a gear with some good passing and driving forward, and clipped the bar before the end of the first half, the best chance of the half.
HT- 0v0
The second half began in a similar fashion to the first. After about 10 minutes, the pre-season tradition of half squad subs took place by Gretna. Gretna grabbed a goal on the hour, after some slack defensive play by Penrith, and some shabby decision-making by the Linesman, who flagged for a foul 40 yards away from him, in which the referee ignored. The Penrith keeper tamely flapped at the 25 yard effort, and saw the ball hit the back of the net. Penrith then stepped up their game, but the force of this revived Gretna team; beginning their second season as a reformed team, who went on to score a second late on. A good turn out for the game, with the temporarily-opened Southend Road Car Park nearly full!!
It will be sad to see this old ground in the centre of Penrith go. A ground with the true Non-League feel to it. They are moving out-of-town, and the new ground at Frenchfields will not have the same atmosphere as Southend Road.
Admission: £2
Photographs are available for viewing opposite.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

FA Vase And FA Cup Draws

The draws have now being released for the FA Vase and FA Cup with the extra preliminary round of the FA Cup being played on Saturday 15th August and the first and second qualifying rounds for the Vase being played on Saturday 5th September and Saturday 19th September respectively. To see a full list of fixtures to see when your team is playing and who your team is playing visit and click on news on the top bar. Cheers ATG Team