Newcastle United Res. 1v2 Whitley Bay
Northumberland Senior Cup 2nd Round
29th January 2007
Kingston Park has been the home of Newcastle Falcons RUFC since 1990,but it isn’t just a venue for egg chasers,it’s also the venue for Newcastle United’s second string.
Tonights game is the quarter-final of the Northumberland Senior Cup,a competition with a long tradition stretching back 126 years,with current holders Newcastle up against previous season winners Whitley Bay.
This was surprisingly my first visit to Kingston Park,with my time taking up with supporting the first team,watching Gateshead whenever I can and continuing my ‘Groundhopping’ exploits,I suppose NUFC reserves is way down on my list of football priorities,but with this being a competitive match,instead of a basic reserve team v reserve team game,I earmarked this fixture as a definite new ground opportunity.
Kingston Park is North-West of the Toon and the area is known for it’s large retail park,which I’m quite familiar with,as ‘the breadknife’ likes the occasional jaunt up to the nearby Tesco extra.
The ground itself is very stylish and a lot of progress has been made since the John Hall Sporting Club dream,which saw the old Newcastle Gosforth Rugby Club transform into the Falcons with star names and a rise to Rugby Union’s top tier.
The ground was previously called ‘The Newcastle Chronicle & Journal Sports Ground’ and when the Rugby club took over the site there was only the East Stand surrounded by three open ends,just like this. This stand still remains and has a standing terrace in front,where the team dug-outs are and a very impressive club house.
Opposite is the all dark grey seated West Stand which runs the full length of the ground,which has plenty of matchday corporative hospitality it also houses the press box and stadium control area.
Behind each goal are terraces,the South end is the ‘John Smith Stand’ which is covered and to the North is a similar size and capacity which at the moment is uncovered but there are plans to resolve this in the future and so complete the work on Kingston Park.
The match itself was a huge disappointment to those with black and white eyes,but a good following from the Bay saw their team thoroughly deserve their place in the semi-finals and yet again another disappointing cup result for the Toon,their grip on the only trophy in their possession gone,but wait a minute…I’m wrong…I’m forgetting we won the Intertoto Cup.