The Around The Alliance series has featured over 60 matches on this blog over the last 14 years. I finally completed the set within the Alliance pyramid at the end of last season, which was mainly due to limited travel and focusing on Step 7 grounds.
This season the league has sadly lost two of my local clubs, with both Gateshead Redheugh and Felling Magpies wrapping it, as well as Red Row Welfare and Cramlington Town, which leaves 58 clubs within the four divisions. As far as new clubs and grounds go, into the set-up come Bedlington United Sporting Club, plus Whickham FC have formed an U-23 side. I’ve also noticed on the league website that AFC Newbiggin are playing at People’s Park in Ashington, and a fellow enthusiast recently informed me that Morpeth play on the common outside Craik Park. Already on the list is Newcastle Independent who play on the 4G pitch on Coach Lane, so potentially five new grounds to tick off this season, beginning with a game in the west end of Gateshead...
799. Whickham School
Whickham U-23 2-3 AFC Newbiggin Central
Northern Alliance Division 3
Saturday 2nd October 2021
The ground is actually on the opposite side of Fellside Road, with the school across the road used for changing facilities. The pitch is just an open field, but there is a bit of shelter available, with the 97 bus stop looking onto the action.
Newbiggin Central took the lead in the 39th minute courtesy of a header from Michael Todd, before Whickham levelled just before half time, with some nice footwork and accurate finish from Tom Ferguson.
The hosts went ahead on the hour when a right wing cross was swept in by Oliver Martin, but Newbiggin hit back with Michael Humble netting home the rebound, after the ‘keeper made a good save. The visitors were reduced to ten men with just three minutes left after a straight red card shown to the number five, however this spurred them on to grab a winner, with a shot from Todd taking a slight deflection to make it 2-3 in the last minute.
800.Coach Lane Sports Ground 3G
Newcastle Independent 0-0 Cramlington United
Northern Alliance Division 1
Saturday 16th October 2021
People’s Park is not far from the town centre, just off Station Road. The public park has 3 football pitches with Central using the Park Road pitch at the far side.
The match against Newcastle Independent Cabrito was a 3rd Division 2nd v 3rd clash, but on reflection the teams looked further apart as the home team eased to victory.
They broke the deadlock in the 24th minute when Jon Short scored from the penalty spot, quickly followed by a brace from Michael Todd, his second saw him cut inside and fire into the far post to make it 3-0.
The visitors improved in the second half before a twice taking penalty from Kevin Halliday sealed the win for the hosts, which leaves them just a point behind next week's opponents Walker Central and with a game in hand.
updated 13th February '22
814. Morpeth Common
Morpeth 1-4 Stobswood Welfare
Northern Alliance 2nd Division
Saturday 12th February 2022
Morpeth FC formed in 2016 playing in the Tyneside Amateur League before stepping up into the Northern Alliance. Last season they won all nine matches in the 3rd Division before the season was curtailed in March. The club were still declared champions on points-per-game basis and kicked off in the 2nd Division this season.
The club play on Morpeth Common which is just outside Craik Park. The two grounds are divided by huge conifer trees, with the teams having access to the neighbours changing rooms.
Stobby took full advantage of the strong wind in the second half to run out comfortable winners. Aaron Costello danced past the Morpeth ‘keeper to give them the lead, before a good well placed header from Lewis Reilly made it all square at the break.
Josh Hay missed a penalty early in the second half, before eventually going ahead in the 69th minute, when Max Anderson ran onto a through ball and fired in his left foot shot. Costello grabbed his second and King made up for his penalty miss when he twisted and turned the home defence and rifled in the fourth in added on time.
Morpeth 1(Reilly 37)
Stobswood Welfare 4(Costello 24,83 Anderson 69 Hay 90+2)
6th v 1st matchday 16
updated 20th February
815. Prudhoe Community High School
Prudhoe YC Seniors 1-2 Alnwick Town
Northumberland FA Benevolent Bowl Semi-Final
Saturday 19th February 2022
Prudhoe Youth Club FC is an FA Community Chartered Standard Club established in 1969, the largest football club in West Northumberland with 25 teams, which includes over 350 players and 30 FA qualified coaches.
The club is based at Eastwood Park, with the senior team playing at Kimberley Park and occasionally here, at the 4G surface at Prudhoe Community High School.
A decent crowd, including a strong following from Alnwick, enjoyed a competitive and well fought out Benevolent Bowl semi final.
The visitors went ahead in the 33rd minute when (my former work colleague) Mickey Laws fired in from the penalty spot after the ‘keeper had committed the foul. On the stroke of half time a free kick from the edge of the box was brilliantly converted into the roof of the net by Matty Robinson to make it 1-1.
In the second half the tie could have gone either, but it was Alnwick who clinched it, when Dominick Hayes headed home a left wing cross at the far post to book their place with Wallington in the final.
PYCS 1(Robinson 45+1)
ATFC 2(Laws 33pen Hayes 63)
After missing out on ticking Bedlington United SC, I thought my Northern Alliance fixtures were finished for this season. Luckily, I noticed just an hour before kick off that Whickham U-23s were playing at Axwell Park.
The ground has been used for the odd pre-season friendly but not by a regular Saturday club. It is situated on the A694 between Swalwell and Winlaton Mill. The pitch has a changing room hut on one side with woodland opposite, which borders the Axwell Park private estate.
Whickham fell behind early on when John Elsender stayed on side, before running through to score. Kerosene Lizinde slid in to equalise six minutes later, then fired in from the edge of the box to make it 2-1 at half time.
Fawdon made a positive start to the second half and grabbed an equaliser when a corner kick was met by the head of Tommy Parker at the far post.
The young Whickham side finished the match strongly with a cracking 30 yarder from Rob Woods restoring their lead. The match was wrapped up in added on time with a goal from Lee Finlay, before Lizinde completed his hat trick from the penalty spot with the last kick of the game.
Whickham U-23 5(Lizinde 20,39,90+5pen Woods 73 Finlay 90+1)
Fawdon 2(Elsender 14 Parker 49)
Northern Alliance Division 2 matchday 25/26
10th v 14th
1855 ko Att.11hc