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View from the cemetery - March 2019

Submitted by Ghostly Gadgie on Saturday, 9 March 2019

Are the famous old neighbouring townships of Ryhope and Seaham rapidly becoming a proverbial football hotbed? It is starting to look like it. Modesty prevents me from waxing too lyrical about ourselves, for a bit anyway, but the CW and Red Star are certainly starting to attract some notice. Tuesday night’s comprehensive win for the Colliery over at Dunston must be on paper one of their best results for a long time. Very well done indeed. And the Red Star boys are not doing so dusty of late either, with five league wins since Christmas compared to three before then. All three of us looking good to go for another season in the top flight next year, FA shenanigans notwithstanding, and now the only thing we need to do is get more people to come and watch. Lots of good competitive derbies with three sides fighting to be local top dogs can only help. We have Red Star to play in April and so do the CW, so lets hope the interest is good for both of those games, it certainly should be.

Our charge came to a bit of a halt on Saturday over at Hebburn, shame because before that we were flying and I don’t think, and my spies confirm this, that we should have lost. Hebburn are a decent side no question, but not as good as us all things being equal I think, or at least, not as good as we can be. Shame because it might be quite an important match in the context of the final league table. Important, but not decisive. Six games to play and if we win them all, or close to it, then we could well still finish fourth which I am assured carries a little bit of weight for the club, most importantly in the shape of FA Vase exemptions. So, let’s crack on!

Despite the CW’s heroics, Dunston now look nailed on for the Northern League title and promotion, whether they like it or not, to the North East Division of the NPL. Where no doubt they will thrive, if not bounce through at the first attempt. In the light of the FA’s proposals for the new “Northern", but not definitely "Northern League” Level Four league to start the season after next, is Dunston’s timing very good or very bad? I’m not sure. Things are going to change, but whether for the better or worse, or where that will leave us, is your guess as much as mine.

In the meantime and elsewhere in the world, who is off to Wemberlee at the end of the month? I watched the semi final against the mighty Gas on the graveyard communal telly, and the boys from the SoL did well, although not without a bit of a fight, and a Wemberlee match up against Pompey does at least sound like a proper Cup Final, or would have done back in 1950 when Pompey won the old First Division and Sunderland came third, a point behind. Those were the days; as long as you didn’t mind the rationing. No doubt people consoled themselves with the thought that it wouldn’t be too many years before SAFC won the League again.


Unless there's a rule change, we should already be exempt until the Second Round in next season's Vase (for reaching the Fourth Round this season).

Finishing in 4th place in the league last season gave us an exception to the First Round this season. I'm sure el Queso will know for certain! 

I am sure he will know cool.

Seriously though, for several seasons the FA has exempted those teams, who played in the fourth round of the Vase, to the second round proper of the succeeding competition, which tells me that the CA need not to worry about final positions this season as the top four in any league are only exempted to the first round  proper.

Unless the FA change the rules.

As they might or might not, as is their wont.

The Spectral One's mention of the soon-to-be-new league at Step 4 instils me with the worry that I might never see another Vase game at Meadow Park after season 2019-20, as the popular consensus of opinion is that as many as 10 teams from the Northern League will be required to complement the new division in 2020-21. This means that I might never see a Ryhope team in the Vase Final, which has been my ambition since I watched the 2012 all-Northern League final.

Unless one or both of them gets to Wembley next season. In the second scenario we might need four buses from the village wink.

So, as the bard probably didn't say "Get thee fingers oot next season me bonny Lads!" devil