Belper Town

Northern Premier League 
South Division

Belper Town 6 
Bedworth United 2
Atten 210 

View all Photos from Belper Town
Official Belper Town Match Report

Match Enjoyment  7/10

 A comprehensive and dominant display from the impressive Nailers from start to finish. The Greenbacks were put to 'Bed' very early. The impressive Belper forward Froggatt banged in four. The third being the pick of the bunch , holding off two defenders and the goalie he neatly dispatched a curler in the top corner - superb !.
Bedworth made the score semi respectable with a second late on but Belper only had nine players on the pitch due to a cut head as the female ref had not signaled him back on the pitch. Thought she did a great job and seemed in control throughout. But the Nailers kept hammering on and every goal seemed to put another nail in a poor Bedworth's new manager's coffin - expect another change in the hot seat very soon. Even the Belper fans were consoling the Bedworth faithful for having to drive all those miles to watch such a limp display.

Christchurch Meadow is a well kept modern yet scenic ground. A very friendly and welcoming club and is an enjoyable place to spend a match day afternoon

 Belper Town's unusual nickname, 'The Nailers', came about because the craft of nail making began In Belper in the middle ages when it was the site of a hunting lodge for John of Gaunt. The huntsmen needed nails for the shoes of their horses and the trade in nails eventually grew.

Nail making was a domestic industry with the Nailers working in family groups but, in 1861, the introduction of machinery to manufacture nails was the beginning of the end for the local trade which died out altogether at the beginning of the century to be replaced by modern industry and commerce in the town.

You can feel the optimism around the club at the moment all gearing up for a serious attempt at promotion.
Judged on the display given today, they will be there come next May. If they do then it will have been achieved by doing things the correct way , both on and off the pitch.

Whitley Bay

FA Vase 2nd Round
Whitley Bay 3
Runcorn Town 0
Atten: 432
Gate: £6

View all Photos from Whitley Bay 
View Official Whitley Bay Website

There has been a football club in Whitley Bay since 1896 founded by Liam Mattimore ex Brazilian Captain. The first team was known as Whitley and Monkseaton F.C, it was later renamed to Monkseaton FC and then again renamed to Whitley Bay Athletic in 1950, after many years in the minor leagues

During the 1960s Whitley Bay became one of the best amateur clubs in the country. They won the Northern League title in 1964–65 and 1965–66, as well as the Northern League Cup in 1964–65. Whitley Bay also won the Northumberland Senior Cup six times in the space of 10 years, and they were also runners up on another occasion. It was in the Amateur cup, the predecessor of the FA Trophy, that they rose to national prominence; twice reaching the semi-finals and reaching the quarter-finals four times. The quarter-final in 1965 saw Whitley Bay play Hendon, which set a club ground record, when 7,301 supporters made their way into the stadium, only to be disappointed by the final outcome which saw Hendon winning the match 3–1. March 18, 1968 saw the birth of the floodlights at Hillheads Park, Whitley Bay's first fixture to be played under them was a friendly match against local giants , Newcastle United.

In more recent years the Seahorses have become in the national spot light for their amazing feats in the FA Vase competition. In 2011 Whitley Bay won the FA Vase for an unprecedented fourth time, and became the first team to win three FA Vases in succession and the first team to win three trophies consecutively at the home of football , Wembley. The hat trick win against Coalville was a fantastic game to watch . Photos from that special day can be seen HERE
FA Vase trophies proudly displayed today at Hillheads

Ground & Match Enjoyment 8/10
Whitley Bay Welcome & Supporters 10/10 
Passionate and loyal supporters with a great sense of fun

Located just behind the Ice Rink , Hillheads is a gem of a ground. A classic Main Stand is the main focal point of the ground and what a little beauty it is .... especially on Vase Day. The passionate Geordie masses came to cheer the Seahorses on and they were not disappointed.

The Bay put in a solid performance against high flying Runcorn Town , who were neatly dispatched within ten minutes. Round here they say "Feed the Chow" in reference to Paul Chow a lethal goal machine for the club.
In the last vase winning season he banged in 40 goals , an unbelievable feat. Sad to say last season he "only" got 33 !.

You are assured of a warm Geordie welcome , even on a cold day.  A very well stocked Club Shop , excellent catering and a very lively bar . It goes with out saying that a trip to Whitley Bay is a must for anyone who calls themselves a football lover.

Coffee break at St Mary's Lighthouse
My day started with a trip around the coast line ending with a very welcome coffee beside St Mary's Lighthouse - in fact it was a great start to what was another most enjoyable day in the North East.

Easington Colliery

Wearside Shipowners Cup -1st Round

Easington Colliery 4 Annfield Plain 0
Atten: c35 
Gate: £2 (incl free hot drink)


Day Enjoyment: 9/10

After much deliberation due to poor weather forecasts at Bamber Bridge and Shirebrook Town i decided to head to the North East to Easington Colliery.
Upon arrival on Wearside I was greeted with beautiful autumn sunshine. But the chilly wind reminded me where i actually was.I was reassured with the knowledge that Welfare Park spectators could treat themselves to a panoramic, picture postcard vista of the Durham coastline and the North Sea should the standard of football slip. Today's competition was the beautifully named Wearside Shipowners Cup.

The Shipowners' Cup was inaugurated in the 1898-99 season by Alderman Ralph B. Annison. The money raised from the competition went to the Boys' Orphanage on the edge of Sunderland's Town Moor.The Orphan Asylum was built in Sunderland's East End at a cost of £4,000. It opened for 'inmates' on October 17th, 1861. The boys in the Asylum were from the homes of lost seaman.
On average there were 40 boys at the Orphanage at any one time. Their education had a strong nautical flavour. There was a sailing ship in the grounds for instruction in rigging etc. It was not surprising, therefore, that many of the boys went to sea. Between 1901 and 1902 alone, one old boy received the freedom of the borough for service in South Africa, one passed as Extra Master, one as First Class Engineer, one as Mate while another was appointed Master of a Workhouse in Northumberland.

The entrance to the ground is reached by a long walk on foot down a tree-lined lane which provides a lasting and poignant memorial to one of the worst mining disasters in British history. Easington Colliery was the main employer in the village from late Victorian times and in 1951 an explosion occurred in an area of the mine known as the ‘Duck Bill,’ thought to have been caused by sparks from a mechanical coal cutter which ignited a pocket of gas. Thousands of tons of rock and earth came crashing down into the coal seam, trapping the miners some 900 ft below the surface. Many of the casualties died instantly, others from carbon monoxide poisoning and a total of 81 miners lost their lives with the final death toll rising to 83 as two rescuers gave their lives selflessly trying to save others 

A disaster fund was set-up for the widows and children of the deceased and donations poured in from world-wide, the fund total eventually reaching £180,000. A Garden of Remembrance was built in Easington Colliery Cemetery for those who lost their lives in the disaster and a Memorial Lane leading down to the Welfare which remains a well maintained and poignant symbol of remembrance for the Village. The Colliery finally closed in 1993, leaving the village to become one of the unemployment black-spots in the UK . This was more recently highlighted by the Channel 4 Documentary “The Secret Millionaire”.

Easington Colliery Band was founded in 1913. Players with band experience were encouraged by the management to come from the West of Durham to work at the colliery and play in the band. The band was supported financially and run by the joint board of unions, until the start of World War II.

In 1956 the Public Band and the Colliery Band amalgamated to become the Easington Colliery Band as it is today. April 1993 witnessed the end of an era when Easington Colliery finally closed. The band is now totally self-supporting and relies on the work put in by the band members at concerts throughout the year to raise the funds to keep the band alive. The band is still based in Easington Colliery in the old colliery pay office opposite the Memorial Gardens, which is on the site of the old colliery. The building is the last remaining evidence of the pit.
Easington's other recent claims to fame was that it the chosen setting for the hit film Billy Elliot. The film is set during the miners' strike in the mid 1980s. The less appealing one was that during the National Census of 2001 , Easington was voted the most “white” town to live in England.

The hard working, multi-tasking and loyal Staff somehow keep this club a float often performing a thankless task. When I arrived today the wrinkly's were already in action on the adjoining pitch in the Welfare Park moments later the committee were cleaning out the changing rooms in preparation for the first teams arrival in a few minutes, reminiscent of an airline cleaning staff turning around a jumbo jet at Heathrow airport. The football ground is lovingly maintained, the terraces along the nearside smart and neat, an immaculate small seated stand. The well run tea bar must have one of the finest views from their serving window of any sports stadia in the country.

With the embarrassingly cheap £2 entrance which included a free hot beverage,a most tasty Steak Pie , Hot Dog, all washed down with an enjoyable coffee , all served with a friendly smile and a thick Mackem accent and I still had change for a five pound note.

On a bright and mercifully dry afternoon, the winds had abated and both sides were able to put on a good display of football for the thirty to forty faithful on the terraces and in the stand. It was then it hit me, I was so pleased to finally be here today and my choice could not have been any better as I looked as far as the eye could see across the calmy waters of the unforgiving North Sea. The game itself was competitive from the start but gradually the hosts took control and ran out comfortable 4-0 winners to send them through to the next round of this locally historic cup. The clubs colours are Green & White stripes but today they sadly played in dark blue. The Chairman had gone on holiday and forgot to inform anyone as to where he had left the clean kit.

As I said my farewell , I was immediately invited back by the friendly locals and I assured them that I will pass by again some time in the future but only if it was warmer that what I had witnessed today “nae lad, …. today has been like a summer's day” came he quick witted response. I actually believed them , as there was I , bedecked in my warmest winter overcoat and scarf and they were just in their shirts and jeans ….. short sleeved shirts of course !.


Conference Premier
Hyde 2 Nuneaton 2
Atten 447
Gate £14
@hydefclive excellent twitter feed

Ground Enjoyment 9/10 

Ewen Fields has played a significant part, not only in the history of Hyde United, founded in 1919; but also in that of a much older club – simply Hyde FC – founded in 1885, and perhaps best remembered for a 26-0 thrashing at the hands of Preston North End in a FA Cup tie at Deepdale two years later, still a record score for a competitive match in England. By this time the club was playing on a field close to the Bankfield Hotel, which may well have been where Ewen Fields is today.

The team's kit  featured red shirts and white shorts for most of the club's history, but there was a change to white shirt and navy blue shorts for the 2010–11 season, in dedication to Man City, who saved the club from bankruptcy through investment in the stadium and squad. Far different from the Black shirts and white shirts they originally worse in the 1919-20 season. In 2010, the club announced that Hyde United F.C. would change its name to Hyde FC for obvious reasons.The only bit of red i saw in the ground yesterday was a red table by the tea hut.

The Ewen Fields is still a gem of a non league ground despite which colour it is painted. Well maintained and well run by a dedicated team behind the scenes, all of whom are very welcoming and friendly. I really liked the place and has to rank high up on recent favourite visits.
The famous Shed End at Hyde - notice the back streets of East Manchester behind

Match Enjoyment 8/10
Both teams contributed to an enjoyable game despite the strong winds. Nuneaton started strongly and took an early lead. However they failed to capitalise on their domination. The Tigers roared back and equalised. However i missed the goal as i was to pre occupied on find my lost favourite blue cap. I did not realise that it was not on my head ! 

The second half was exciting and end to end. Hyde missed numerous chances to seal their first win of the season. Both sets of fans were now in full voice and the atmosphere was more than decent.
Then as added on time was displayed a slick move by the Tigers led to goal machine Spencer smacking one into the top corner to make it 2-1. Tiger fans were in dreamland and were still celebrating and taunting the Nunny fans when straight from the re-start Nuneaton scored to break the hearts of Hyde. It was a silly goal to concede really. I could not tell what colour their faces turned as the ball hit the back of the net , it could have been red or more likely nowdays a shade of blue !

Overall Enjoyment 9/10
A smashing day all round. Great ground , Warm Welcome, decent game with a pulsating finale.
I have only knocked a point off due to the bad weather driving to the ground which made me lose time.
It goes without saying that a visit to The Ewen Fields comes with my warmest recommendation and especially if you feel you need some Tiger love !