Around The Alliance - part fifteen

483. Oxford Centre Ground
Longbenton 1v1 Gosforth Bohemian
Northern Alliance Division One
Wednesday 12th August 2015

 Longbenton is a district of North Tyneside, which is largely an extensive estate originally built as municipal housing by Newcastle City Council in the 1950s and 60s. Longbenton FC first joined the Northern Alliance in 1988, winning promotion from Division Two in 1989-90 followed by the First Division title in 1992-93. The club left the league in 1998 before rejoined in 2012, placed in Division One this season after finishing fourth last term.
Their home ground is at the Oxford Centre, which is a large community facility with the pitch set back from the main building opposite the bowling green. The pitch is fully enclosed with fencing and greenery.

 Visitors Gosforth Bohs dominated the early stages and should have taking a tenth minute lead when a penalty kick from Mark Wright came back off the post. They were made to pay for those missed chances, when a free kick from the right flank was met at the far post by a firm header by Stephen Thompson, to give Longbenton a 33rd minute lead.
Bohs got back on level terms three minutes before the break, when Kev Turnbull was put clear on goal and produced a cool finish. Both teams had decent chances to claim the three points in the second half but on reflection a draw was a fair result.

Matchday Stats
LFC 1(Turnbull 33)GBFC 1(Thompson 42)
Top Bloke - Stephen Thompson(Longbenton)

484. Isabella Playing Fields Blyth Isabella 1V3 Shilbottle CW Northern Alliance Division One Wednesday 19th August 2015
 Blyth Isabella are a relatively new club, joining the Alliance in 2012 and winning the Division Two title in their second campaign. The club are based at the Isabella Playing Fields in the town, but according to the league website they have moved to Cowpen Park. I arrived at the ground five minutes before the 6.15 kick off to find the place deserted, before quickly finding my way along to Isabella where the players were just entering the field. 
The club should be moving to the new place in time for their next home fixture, so I've scored for an extra ground having previously not ticked off this original home.The ground is on Ogle Drive having a roped off pitch with changing room facilities behind the goal, next to the nearby kiddies park. 
 Isabella faced Division One newcomer's Shilbottle CW who dominated the first half but were unable to beat 'keeper Tony Guy who was in fine form between the sticks. They finally made the breakthrough five minutes after the restart, when Matty Graham headed home unmarked from a corner kick. 
The hosts equalised just after the hour mark with their first decent offensive move, when left-back Steven Turnbull made a good overlapping run and fired in a powerful left foot shot into the far corner. 
During the match there was a bitter undercurrent both on and off the pitch which all came to a head on 73 minutes when a late challenge resulted in a mass brawl, with no cards surprisingly produced from the refs pocket. 
Shilbottle finished the match on top with Josh Hay finally finding the target, arriving on the end of a free kick to fire in at the far post, before Graham grabbed his second to wrap up the points in the dying minutes. 
Overall a really enjoyable game, the match nearly as entertaining as the sledging happening on the sidelines, which as a neutral observer I found quite amusing.
Matchday Stats
BIFC 1(Turnbull 62) SCWFC 3(Graham 50,85 Hay 83)
Top Bloke - Josh Hay(Shilbottle CW)

485.Shilbottle Welfare Ground
Shilbottle CW 6v0 Cramlington Town
Northern Alliance Division One
Saturday 22nd August 2015

 Shilbottle is a village found just off the A1 motorway in Northumberland, 3 miles south-east of Alnwick. The village was build around Shilbottle Colliery which was bought for £50 by the English Co-operative Wholesale Society at the turn of the 20th century. The mine was upgraded and a new village of 170 houses were built, including some aged miners cottages. Shilbottle Colliery was the only pit in the area where workers had a pension scheme and were given a week's paid holiday. The National Coal Board took over after the Second World War, with production continuing until the ‘70s decline and the pit eventually closing in 1981.

The football club originally played in the Northern Alliance between 1993 and ‘96 and returned last season after winning the North Northumberland League in 2013-14. They easily won the Division Two title last term, winning 25 of their 30 matches and amassing 142 goals.
In September 2010 the new Shilbottle Community Hall was opened at the ground, costing over £1m which included a £100,000 contribution from the Football Foundation. The pitch is build up above ground level and fully railed off, with grass banking at the far side.
 Shilbottle continued from where they left off on Wednesday night with an impressive gubbin of Cramlington Town. They made an early breakthrough when Josh Hay linked up well with Callum Brooks to fire his side into the lead, before Brooks did well to stay onside and easily beat the goalkeeper with a one-on-one on 28 minutes. Just before the break a ball from the left found Hay who nodded the ball into the path of Brooks who hit a first time effort in off the post to make it 3-0.
Five minutes after the restart a foul on Hay in the box meant Brooks could complete his hat-trick from the penalty spot. Having seen Shilbottle twice this week they look a good bet to win their third consecutive league title, they seem to have a good squad of players with the three substitutes all playing their part, one of which set up Hay to make it five on 76 minutes.  
In the final few minutes full back Ryan Douglas rifled in a shot from 20 yards to bring up the half dozen and complete an impressive display from the home side.

 Matchday Stats
SCWFC 6(Hay 8,76 Brooks 28,45,51pen Douglas 88) CTFC 0
Top Bloke - Callum Brooks(Shilbottle CW)

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