✔858 Wavell Road Playing Field

Unicorn 3-3 Richmond Mavericks
Wensleydale League
Saturday 28th January 2023

I finally made a return to the Wensleydale League. A league which saved our season in 2020-21, giving us plenty of fixtures and new grounds to visit following lockdown jail. 

Over the last few years Unicorn have been the top side in Richmondshire, winning their third league title in a row last season.



#Heedhopper

47 mile drive door-to-door. Took a detour to pick up Lee & Katie. 


Wavell Road Playing Field, 

Kneeton Park, 

Catterick Garrison, 

North Yorkshire 

DL9 3SF


There's two grass pitches and 3G surfaces next to the main building. Unicorn used the far pitch for their Wensleydale League fixture with Richmond Mavericks.

 

Unicorn 3(Proudlock 19 Murray 52 Moohan 73) 

Richmond Mavericks 3(O.Kelly 9 Bainbridge 14 J.Kelly 32)

Wensleydale League Matchday 11 (4th v 5th)

2pm ko

Att.20hc

The away side went two up within the first fifteen minutes.  A brilliant run and shot from 25 yard shot by Owen Kelly, was  followed by a penetrating run through midfield which was fired home by Reuben Bainbridge.

Unicorn quickly replied with a shot from the left wing from Bailey Proudlock, finding the far corner via the leafy goalmouth, but the Mavericks regained the two goal advantage before half time through James Kelly. 

Unicorn improved in the second half to gain a point. Both Goals were of a similar ilk with efforts parried by the 'keeper but falling to Stuart Murray and James Moohan, who both followed in from close range. 

In the final fifteen minutes both sides went all out for a winner but neither could make the breakthrough, so the points were shared. 

857 Parkside Academy

Willington 1-3 Tow Law Town
Friendly
Saturday 21st January 2023


My plan for yesterday was to head down to Teesside with a choice of one of two matches taking place on 3G pitches. When both games were confirmed as postponed I checked Twitter to see if there were any local matches on at all. I noticed a tweet from Tow Law Town stating that the entire Northern League fixtures was wiped out, but they had arranged a friendly with Willington at the Parkside Academy 3G.


Parkside Academy

Hall Lane Estate, 

Willington,  DL15 0QF


The Academy is just around the corner  from Willington's Hall Road ground. The pitch is just off the main entrance and has floodlights.

The match was decent considering it was just a workout between the two sides. Tow Law went ahead through Dan Marriott, before Luke Smithyman got on the end of a long pass and lobbed the ‘keeper to equalise. The lawyers again took the lead when Lyke Page fired in a free kick from the edge of the box, then scored a third early in the second half when the #4  netted the rebound after the initial shot came back off the post.


Willington 1(Smithyman 31)

Tow Law Town 3 (Marriott 26 Page 39 #4 50) 

Friendly

3.20 ko

Att.23hc

✔856 New Hartley Park

New Hartley Juniors 0-1 Hexham
Northumberland Minor Cup 4th Round
Saturday 14th January 2023

New Hartley is a small village in South East Northumberland, which neighbours Hartley, Seaton Delaval and Seaton Sluice. 

Records show that coal mining began in the late 13th century, with a number of pits in the Hartley area.  A new pit called Hester was sunk in 1845, on a site in between Seaton Sluice and Seaton Delaval, which saw families settle around the new mine, and the creation of New Hartley village. 

The village was home to ex-Liverpool, Arsenal and England football legend Ray Kennedy, who began his career with New Hartley Juniors. Ray was their star player in the team which won all 26 league games in 1967.

New Hartley FC also produced Leeds United and Sunderland striker Michael Bridges and future Toon players Bobby Cummings and Ron Guthrie.

#Heedhopper

14 mile drive door-to-door

 

New Hartley Park

Recreation Ground

St. Michaels Avenue

New Hartley

NE25 0PR

 

New Hartley Park has two pitches with the club using the far pitch for their Northumberland Minor Cup tie with Hexham. The changing rooms are at the back of the Memorial Hall. 


New Hartley Juniors 0

Hexham 1(Fearns-Kennedy 78)

Northumberland Minor Cup 4th Round 

1.30pm ko 

Att.42hc

 

After a tight opening period it was Hexham who dominated the second half. They missed numerous chances including a missed penalty which was well saved by debutant Damien Suggett in the 68th minute. Ten minutes later they finally broke the deadlock, when a Branndon Fearns-Kennedy free kick on the right side of the penalty area caught the keeper out at the near post, which proved to be decisive. 



Kirkley Park 3G

Wallsend Boys Club U-23 2-3 Rothbury
George Dobbins League Cup 1st round
Saturday 7th January 2023

Kirkley Park has been totally transformed with a new 3G surface, made possible with an investment of over £300,000 from Wallsend Boys Club and a grant of £564,799 from the Premier League, The FA and the Football Foundation. Former players Alan Shearer and Michael Carrick officially opened the new era for Wallsend Boys Club in October 2020. The new ground has four floodlight posts on each side and a covered seated stand, which holds approximately 200 spectators. The new pitch has been moved from its original plot, relocated further to the north west of the site, away from the existing houses on Alderwood Crescent, so the neighbours won’t be affected by the floodlights.

There are several grass pitches behind the stand and the club believe the new facility will support the recruitment of more than 300 new players across 21 teams at the club, including a growth of female and disability football, with more than 100 girls expected to be playing affiliated football at Kirkley Park by 2024.

Also,a new community hub is currently under construction which includes a physio room, classroom, changing rooms, kitchen, office and meeting room. The hub will focus on activities for younger people but will also cater for everyone in the community. The club are also seeking funding for an indoor 3G Futsal arena.

The staff at Swan Hunters Shipyard founded Wallsend Boys Club in 1904 to provide recreational activities for the apprentices and young people in the area.

The club was originally based on Station Road, in wooden huts erected by workers from the shipyard, which was destroyed in a fire in 1964. The more recent club building was opened in December 1966 and over the years, it survived fires and weather damage, but the club has strived to survive.

In 1975, the club opened seven days a week and formed a separate sub-committee for 11-a-side football.The club was awarded the Freedom of the Borough of North Tyneside in 2008, in recognition of what the deputy mayor called the club's "factory line of talent", and for its community work. Wallsend BC opened its first dedicated football centre at Kirkley Park in 2011.

I finally got the opportunity to visit the new Kirkley Park for the U23's League cup tie with Rothbury. Whenever I’m in Wallsend it makes me wonder about the mystery football match I attended in this area of North Tyneside in 1981. Following Whickham’s triumph in the FA Vase at Wembley that year, I attended an end of season friendly where the trophy was proudly displayed.(I stupidly kissed it and got metal polish all over my lips) I’ve no idea where the match took place and who actually played in the game, meaning there should be another ground on my list and another match registered. If anyone was at this “mystery match” then please, please, please get in touch.

(maybe the match was played at Wallsend BC old Station Road ground… Ed)

 

Wallsend Boys Club U-23 2(Stirk 73 Macpherson 85OG)

Rothbury 3(Coe 34 Dunn 68 Macpherson 78)

George Dobbins League Cup 1st Round

2.30pm ko

Att.36hc 


Rothbury led at the break when Chris Coe ran on to a through ball and finished well. The visitors went two up midway through the second half after a free kick from the edge of the box eventually fell to Paul Dunn to fire in. Wallsend pulled one back when Jack Stirk timed his run to stay onside and score, but the comeback was short lived, as Tom Macpherson headed in from a right wing corner to make it 1-3. 

The home team kept plucking away and reduced the arrears again when a free kick was turned into his own net by Macpherson, but unfortunately they ran out of time to grab an equaliser and take it to penalties.

✔854 Phoenix Park

Dinnington Town 1-3 Retford United
Central Midlands League -  North Division
Saturday 24th December 2022

Dinnington is a town in the Metropolitan Borough of Rotherham in South Yorkshire, which is the principal settlement in the civil parish of Dinnington St John's, which also includes the small hamlets of Throapham and St John's. (population over 12,000)

Dinnington has been inhabited since at least Neolithic times, and it has been suggested that the settlement takes its name from a local barrow, though a more traditional explanation would be "Dunn's Farmstead", or "Town of Dunn's People".

Dinnington was originally a small, isolated farming community, based around the New Road area of the town. Quarrying in the area helped expand the population, but it was the sinking of the Dinnington Main Colliery in 1905 that led to its growth. The coal miners initially lived in a prefabricated shanty town in Laughton Common, colloquially known as "Tin Town" or "White City" but later moved into purpose built terrace houses around the central shopping area of Laughton Road. The colliery closed in 1992 which left a negative impact on the local economy, resulting in job losses and the loss of local businesses.

The town’s original club, Dinnington Main was founded in 1908 and made headlines in 1922, reaching the 1st Round of the FA Cup. Dinnington Athletic played in the Yorkshire League between 1936 and 1975, plus Dinnington Colliery briefly appeared in Midland League in the mid-seventies.  The current club Dinnington Town formed in 2000, joining the Central Midlands League Premier Division, winning promotion to the Supreme Division in 2001-02, where they finished as runners-up three seasons off the belt, between 2004 and 2006. 

Dinno switched to the Northern Counties East League in 2006-07, becoming Division One champions the following season. The club were relegated from the NCEL Premier Division in 2011 and returned to the CML set up in 2014-15. 

Phoenix Park

131 Laughton Rd, 

Dinnington, 

Sheffield, S25 2PP


The ground is now a shadow of its former self since the all weather surface was installed. The stands on one side and behind one of the goals have been removed, to be replaced by a new stand later in the season. 

The entrance to the ground is via the Resource Centre reception and past the bowling green. The changing rooms are in the Resourse Centre, with spectator access on the near side and behind both goals. The team dugouts are on the far side. 

(Coincidentally, the last uncharted ground I visited was at Shifnal Town, whose home is also called Phoenix Park.)

Dinnington Town 1(Sedgwick  51)

Retford Town 3(Froggatt 40 West 45+3,82)

Black Dragon North matchday 15 (3rd v 1st)

Noon k.o.

Att.269

Spondoolicks:

Admission £3

Pin badge £4

Coffee £1


After an even first period, the league leaders had a stranglehold on the game late in the first half. A good ball into the box from Owen Fieldsend was met by Jon Froggatt at the far post in the 40th minute, before Mark West was fouled in the box in stoppage time and dispatched the resulting penalty to make it 0-2. 

Dinno hit back soon after the restart with a quick turn and shot from Brad Sedgwick which found the top corner of the net, then had decent chances to equalise. The Badgers sealed the three points late on when Brandon Kane played the ball out to West on the left, who hit a perfect side footed shot into the far corner. 

#Heedhopper

126 miles door-to-door via A1/A18/A57

I picked up Lee & Katie at 9am and we arrived just before 11am.

This match was a double tick for me. Not only was it a new ground for the list, but also another day of the year marked off, having never seen a match on Christmas Eve before. As it now stands, there’s still 17 days to mark off, which includes Christmas Day (which will never be done) but as I’ve seen a match on the 29th February before, then 365 days of the year is still a possibility. 

The early kick off time was ideal, so it meant I was driving home for Christmas at a decent time so the festivities could commence.