So, when does a bit of a slump become a crisis? Must be getting close. I know you can make a fair few excuses, with various disruptions but even so, we need to start picking up a few more points from somewhere soon. Five league defeats in a row and a loss in a cup tie as well makes for fairly grim reading. Last Wednesday night up at Whickham was disappointing mainly because we started so well, and pretty much controlled the first half. But, as is our downfall at the moment, we only had a one goal lead to show for it, and as soon as we turned round for the second half it was clear, if we needed reminding, that Whickham know how to play their pitch. Everything went down their left and eventually they made hay from a series of opportunities to level things up and then win the game in the last ten minutes. We had a couple of chances and a Dylan Elliott effort rules out for offside but by the end Whickham were well worth their win, their first at home since August. Worrying, very worrying.
Fourteen games left this season, plenty if you win, not so many if you lose them... Looks like we are going to have a few nailbiting weeks before we can relax.
Last Saturday we played Stockton, who at the moment look nailed on for the title and promotion. A strong outfit. Fair play to them, amazing progress in the past few seasons, from Wearside League to, almost certainly, the Northern Premier North West League next season. Given that it looks certain that at least three in total will be promoted this season, and also that Dunston are long outsiders to get promoted further, even if they do have a good few games in hand of some of their rivals, then at least it may not be so much of a lonely place next year, with probably four North East sides in the division and Pickering Town likely relegated to the Northern League. Might make it harder for those four to get promoted again though.
It probably doesn’t matter much anyway. If the FA insist on three going up each year that is going to change things a lot within the next five years, and not just for the Northern League First and Second, but also for the Wearside and Northern Alliance. So be it, we will just have to get on with it.
Over at the SoL all is now sunshine and light, or at least as much as the demented faithful can manage. A few grumbles as usual but since Christmas you can’t knock the results. Still a long way off but you will need some coppers if they do get up, the Championship is a very good standard. I watched West Brom the other night and they played some real good stuff. Even the Boro, who are flirting with relegation, look a decent side. More worries.
Further afield the “big clubs” are up to their usual antics about cup ties and specifically replays. Too much bother to have to do things twice; if you mess up the first attempt. I have a suggestion. Give all the prize money to the Non League end of the FA Cup, we love it in August and September and it would make good telly for Lineker and Shearer to talk about..