Wearside League Wanderings - part three

197 - Beechfield Park
Coxhoe Athletic 1v2 Teesside Athletic
Shipowners Charity Cup Round 2
3rd January 2009

Coxhoe Athletic played in the Durham Alliance before joining the Wearside League in 2004-05, they’re located in a small village in County Durham, a few miles south of Durham city. Coxhoe is situated just off the Durham services on the A1 motorway, with the ground easy to find, found at the beginning of the village.
Since I started the Wearside League Wanderings series, Beechfield Park has became one of my favourites so far. Imagine any suburban street in Britain, amongst the rows of houses and gardens there’s always one home that stands out amongst the others. The lawn is always cut to perfection, the picket fence always looks like it’s just had a fresh lick of paint, there’s no litter or straggly weeds to be seen, everything is spotless and lovingly cared for by it’s owner, or as in this case the groundsman, as this is the football ground equivalent of the best garden in the street.
The ground is built on top of a hill, just off the main road and over a grass verge, with a few steps leading to its entrance, where a gentleman is waiting to take your admission money. At this side is a diminutive shelter, put together with green congregated iron with a red peaked roof, decked out with a leather bench seat. At the far side is a similar structure but slightly larger and again the seating is the leather benched variety. The main stand is known as the Purvis Stand, this is parallel with the half way line and has three rows of red flip seats, with the dugouts situated at either side and a disabled area next to it. Downstairs behind the stand is a canteen and refreshment bar, changing rooms and toilet block, the ground is complete with a green perimeter fence and has hard standing all round.
This match was in the Shipowners Charity Cup, one of the three knockout competitions in the Wearside League. Teesside took a stranglehold on the game midway through the first half with two goals in the space of three minutes. The first came when a long throw in, caused a scramble in the penalty area, with Drazdauskas coming up trumps to toe poke the ball home. Minutes later a corner kick was played out to left-back Lochren on the edge of the box, whose fine first time effort sailed high into the net.
Coxhoe started the second half in need of an early goal to get themselves back into the game and to make the match more interesting to us neutrals. That’s exactly what happened, as Sheridan scored with a fine individual effort from the edge of the box only five minutes after the restart.
The goal gave the Coxhoe side a huge lift, as they pushed for an equaliser, although Teesside always looked dangerous on the counter attack. The home side thought they had clinched that decisive goal but it was controversially chalked off for offside, this was their best chance as the visitors defended well throughout and comfortably seen out the game to book a place in the next round.
I found Beechfield Park a smashing little ground, it’s obvious to any casual visitors that the park is lovingly cherished, so I must give a special mention to groundsman Stan and the staff at Coxhoe for making this venue such a gem.
Matchday stats
CAFC 1 (Sheridan 50) TAFC (Drazdauskas 22, Lochren 24)
Att 58 (HC)
Admission £1.50
Programme: none

207 - Harton Colliery Welfare Ground
Wearside League 1v2 Cambridgeshire County League
FA National Systems Cup - Preliminary Round
28th March 2009
This ground is a bit of a bonus for me, Harton Colliery Welfare was a venue I thought I missed out on, after the grounds residents - South Shields Harton & Westoe, resigned from the league back in September. The club were members of the Wearside League from 1994 with a best season finish of 5th of 20 clubs in 2000-01.
The venue played hosts to a Wearside League select team in the FA National League Systems Cup, a competition for league representative sides further down the pyramid, with the cup winners rewarded with a place in Europe, representing the country in the UEFA Regions Cup.
The league’s opponents were the Cambridgeshire County League, and despite a very strong wind the match was a very entertaining game, with both sides representing their respective leagues with pride.
Cambridgeshire took the lead in the 18th minute, a great through ball found the big centre forward Mhishi, who stayed onside before going round the keeper then unselfishly squaring the ball to Joey Abbs, his team mate from Fulbourn Institute FC, who was left with a simple tap into an empty net. That goal looked like being the difference between the two sides at the break, but with the very last kick of the half, New Marske striker Rob Jones’s ‘daisy cutter’ effort from 20 yards out, made it level at the interlude.
The second half was played in similar fashion, a very open affair with no prisoners taking in the tackling stakes, with the referee making decisions that frustrated both sets of players.
As a neutral I though Cambs looked the better side and more likely to clinch the winning goal, this they did in the 74th minute, sub Johnny Bridgeman latched on to a through ball and placed the ball wide of the keeper at the far post to send the travelling hordes (well about a dozen of them) home happy on their long journey back south.
Harton Collery Welfare has a covered terrace at the far side, approximately three-quarters pitch length with both dugouts at the front and four beanpole floodlights in each corner. Admission and match programme is obtained by the Welfare building, which is used as changing rooms with also houses a spacious bar and refreshment facilities, the complex also has a cricket pitch, bowling green and all-weather 5-a-side pitches.
I’m unaware of any plans for Harton & Westoe to reform, although there’s always the possibility of a new club setting up in this part of Shields and using the Welfare as their home, which seems more likely as I can’t imagine this ground and facilities going to waste for too long.
Matchday stats
WLg 1 (Jones 45+2) CCLg 2(Abbs 18, Johnny Bridgeman 74)
Att. 65(HC)
Admission £2
Programme £1
208 - Silksworth Welfare Park
Ashbrooke Belford House 1v1 Windscale
Wearside League
8th April 2009
Ashbrooke Belford House have played in the Wearside League since last season, after stepping up from the Durham Alliance. Home matches are played in Silksworth, which lies approximately three miles south-east of sunderland town centre, ground sharing with fellow Wearside League club Silksworth Community FC at Silksworth Welfare Park.
The park has a war memorial, bowling green, bandstand and children’s playground, with the park pitch brought up to the standard ground requirements, which is fully enclosed with four floodlight pylons at each side, changing rooms, outside bog and a set of anti-vandal cupboard-type-dugouts, the same type as they have at Ryhope CW.
Asbrooke played hosts to Windscale, who took the lead after 38 minutes, somewhat against the run of play when the best player on view Adam Lamb (or “Dazzler” to his team mates) ran on to a through ball and caught out the keeper, by taking his shot first time from outside the box.
The second half saw Asbrooke apply much of the pressure, equalising just past the hour mark when Benson picked the ball out wide before cutting inside from the right and smashing a left foot shot, giving to goalie no chance.
One thing I noticed was the home dugout was fully occupied with playing staff, while the away section was empty with just the Windscale manager standing in front, meaning only twelve travelled over from Cumbria, the 11 players and the gaffer, no subs or physio, just enough to fill three cars, so well done to them on such a good performance and entertaining game with a draw probably a fair result.
update - posted from 'Falcon' on Non-League Zone;
Enjoyed your view on the Belford House v Windscale game, I assume it was you who asked the lone Windscale man ( me ) in the dugout about our goalscorer, well for your information it was the Windscale secretary in the dugout as the management team were unable to travel for the first time ever due to work. Also with so many injured players at the moment we did well to travel with the team we had and thought we were good value for a point and could even have snatched it at the end.
I look forward to seeing you in West Cumbria :-)
Matchday stats
ABH 1(Benson 62) WFC 1 (Lamb 38)
Att. 19 (HC)
Admission and programme: none

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