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.
View from the Cemetery
Good, good stuff down at Shildon. Very solid, despite Kyle Davis’s unlucky sending off. The video wasn’t clear enough to help him with an appeal, especially as the ref was very well placed and its his view that counts, but there is little doubt it was accidental and that the Shildon player made a meal of it, which leaves a bad taste. Thankfully thereafter he had a stinker of a game, Shildon would probably have been better off if he had seen the red rather than Kyle. Good goals by Kyle and Sparky and for the vast majority of the match little to worry about at the back, with all of the defenders playing well, although a bit of a late panic made things interesting, and a cracking save by Scott Pocklington secured the points. On we go, with Bishops today, another balloon to burst? I hope so, but they will clearly be tough opponents, their form is excellent. Still, we need to push up this table, the three or four ahead of us are well in range so plenty to look forward to before the early end of the season.
So, that’s it for the Vase for another season. Just never quite felt that it was likely this year, we haven’t been able to settle into a run, too many injuries, too many niggling knocks and too many times the ball didn’t quite run for us. Never mind, always next year. No surprise either that the only Northern League teams left in have been drawn together. I don’t think it’s fiddled as so many think, or at least only in the sense that the regionalisation is drawn so tight and goes on through so many rounds that we are bound to be thrown together with fellow Northern League sides more times than anybody wants. Either West or Hebburn have every chance of making it to Wembley, and every good luck to them. No doubt we couldn’t have afforded the new suits anyway.
Still a lot of games to play, even if it is a short season this year. Plenty of league games and one cup competition left, against the modern might of South Shields; must feel like a long way from Peterlee. But from our point of view a County Cup and fourth in the league sounds alright to me, silverware and safely out of trouble at both ends of the table. So there you go boys, crack on.
When I was a kid one of the highlights of Christmas was watching the BBC stars visit young people unlucky enough to be in hospital over the holiday season. The bigwigs of the Beeb with their usual impeccable judgement always picked celebrities who were noted for their rapport with the young. As well as the sainted Roy Castle, these kind hearted notables included the likes of Rolf Harris, Jimmy Saville and Stuart Hall, along with the Salvation Army band and God knows who, I shudder to think, dressed up as Santa Claus. By the way, did anybody else’s dad routinely refer to Santa Claus as “Old Raggy Tash”? I always wondered. Anyway, not knowing then what we all know now, I used to think these kids were dead lucky, and wished I was one of them, though only with something enough to keep me in hospital for a few days, tonsillitis or some such, nothing too serious or painful, just enough to ensure I got a present off Rolf or Jimmy, even if it did mean listening to the Sally Bash band or heaven forbid, Helen Shapiro, who I seem to remember was often up for this gig. I was a lovely child. Where are they now?