Submitted by Ghostly Gadgie on Monday, 3 March 2014
Mixed fortunes on the road this last week or so, big disappointment up at Team North the other night in the proverbial six pointer, followed by a very good point down at Synners on Saturday, featuring that rare pleasure, a goal from the off without the other side touching the ball. First man in action for Synners being the keeper picking it out of the net. I would have liked to see that one. And stalwart work thereafter I hear. Team North a less happy occasion I'm told. I'm no expert, as many people will tell you, but it seems to me that our bold young boys usually have only one way of playing, gung-ho from the off, and never mind cagey ten man defending. Or even three or four man. Good stuff most of the time, and I'm all for it, leads to great nail biting wins like the 4-3 at Consett, but sometimes you could wish for something a bit more Italian in the defending stakes; like when you are 1-0 up at relegation rivals for example? Still best to encourage youthful adventure. Never mind, on we go, going to be an interesting last few weeks, bring it on I say. Down to the wire and good nerves vital. I remain confident.
Submitted by Ghostly Gadgie on Wednesday, 5 February 2014
As you will know I am not one of those who treats the biannual battles between Newcastle and Sunderland in the "big league" as the be all and end all of football in the North East. Generally speaking my interest is focused well and truly on the drama and excitement available just over the fence. But there is no denying that the old juices stir and joy rises anew when the current group of bold Sunderland patriots, hailing from all points of the compass as they do, head north and come away victorious against the equally multinational, with a French flavour, forces of darkness who live in Sid James Park. Particularly when I am informed that it was as comprehensive a three nil as you are ever likely to see. He certainly wouldn't have been my pick, not that anybody asked, but there is no doubt the Uruguayan knows his stuff. And maybe his nationality, accustomed as he and his fellow countrymen are to having to fight to be noticed amongst bigger neighbours with a vastly inflated sense of their own importance, enabled him to pick up the regional vibe quite quickly. He could have chucked himself down the touchline like the mad fascist though. To be fair in recent years it has gone against Sunderland more times than not, so these last few games are good reason for celebration, even for those of us who concentrate on the real thing. The old town has few enough good news stories, barring football and Nissan. So, a jolly good weekend was no doubt had in the hostelries of Ryhope. The ones that are left that is. More shut than open nowadays. Not like the days of my youth when the whole lot were thronged. Ah well.
Submitted by Ghostly Gadgie on Monday, 27 January 2014
So, what's your opinion on Friday night games? A good addition to the entertainment options available to clubs, a chance to pull in a few punters who might not otherwise ever bother? Or a disgrace, letting down the sacred principle of 3:00 on a Saturday? Or does it depend why you are moving the fixture? I guess you pays your money and takes your choice, assuming both clubs can agree of course. I only ask because a little bird tells me, by shouting loudly while hunting for worms, that Spennymoor, or Evenwood Rovers as I like to call them, are somewhat miffed that the game at the Brewery Field this coming weekend isn't being moved to Friday night, in order to avoid a clash, or not quite a clash, with the Wear-Tyne derby being played on Saturday lunchtime. Should games be moved for this reason?
Submitted by Ghostly Gadgie on Friday, 24 January 2014
I hear some of those of a more mobile existence enjoyed a trip out to the National Football Museum in Manchester the other day. And with hospitality thrown in by the Northern League. Jolly good I must say. Back in the other life I once visited it when it was at Preston North End's famous old ground at Deepdale. It was damn good then, so presumably even better in shiny new premises. Though no doubt the good folk of North End were somewhat miffed. Having said that I had the place to myself, so I don't think they were snowed under with punters making the trek to North Lancashire. Seems the new place is a glass palace of imposing size, and with good video and other evidence of times gone by, although with a considerable Manchester, and United at that, bias evident all round. Only to be expected I suppose, although if most of the people who come through the door are from Manchester, they are more likely to be Bury fans than Man Utd afficionados; it's a long way from Somerset...
Submitted by Ghostly Gadgie on Monday, 13 January 2014
Nobody much in Ryhope, including us down below, normally takes much notice of the game played by men with funny shaped balls, nor for that matter does the national panic over east European immigrants usually get us roused, but I must admit a result I happened to notice in the egg chasing world gave me a moment's pause the other day. Seems the posh boys of Tynedale RFC up in Corbridge entertained none other than the boldly named Old Albanians RFC a week ago. Makes you think doesn't it? I wasn't aware that the Norman Wisdom loving folk of the lower Balkans even knew the oval ball existed, never mind that so many of them were over here, integrated enough to play our poshest, if somewhat barbaric game, and enough of them in fact, and so long established, as to have an old boys team. Does that Mr Farage know about this? It could cause some excitement in the UKIP fraternity I bet. Turns out they have even established themselves in St Albans, see what they did there? How cunning is that? Hiding in plain sight as Commander Bond would doubtless say. Sounds like a sub plot in the Thirty Nine Steps. I will keep an eye on this....
Submitted by Ghostly Gadgie on Friday, 13 December 2013
So, for England it's Italy in the jungle to start with eh? Presumably Ant or Dec will be on hand to lend their expertise on living in a five star hotel while laughing at others' feeble efforts in physical challenges. Lineker and Shearer are mere novices by comparison, and need all the help they can get. Avoid the prawns Gary, that's what I say, and don't play cards with strangers. Tough life. And I fear destined to end in tears, if not dysentery. Naples may not be Manaus, but it's a damn sight more steamy than Manchester.
Submitted by Ghostly Gadgie on Thursday, 28 November 2013
So, corruption in football rears its ugly head again, will it reach down to our level? I don't think so, surely even the mad keen gamblers of Hong Kong and Shanghai wouldn't want to cast a spell over the honest endeavours of the doughty battlers around Durham and Northumberland? Surely there aren't many in the opium dens of Happy Valley studying the Northern League fixtures and offering the view that Aycliffe at Dunston looks like a good draw? Maybe there are, maybe there are. But, even if they did fancy a bit of an asian handicap, could our lads manage to follow instructions? I doubt it again, not their strong point by and large. Marking up at corners is tough enough, if they had to not mark up at corners, but look as if they were, I reckon most of their brains would explode. So I think we can go on trusting that it's cock up not conspiracy we are watching.