The plan’s Easington Colliery, the depressing reality that only three games survive – two on 3G pitches at Stockton and West Allotment. Not even the “all-weather” can withstand what Consett’s winter throws unerringly at it.
Marske United’s match is another casualty, meaning that United still have 20 league games – and at least two Vase ties – to fit in before season’s end. Gallon and pint pot come to mind (and still it’s raining.)
West Allotment host Chester-le-Street, having long since given them the black spot. It’s the 20th time the clubs have met since West Allotment joined the Northern League in 2005 and Chester have yet to win – a strangle hold of which Mick McManus would have been proud. They can’t even blame me for the jinx.
In 12 first division encounters, Chester managed just one point – overall they’ve scored 19 goals to Celtic’s 51. Last season, recalls Keith Greener, they led 3-0 and could still only draw.
Pre-match in the clubhouse is so enjoyable you hardly want to turn out into a grey and damp afternoon for the match. Partly it’s becauseWAC secretary Ted Ilderton buys me a brown ale (£3 40) and partly because of the excellent crack with a couple of Ryton lads.
We mentioned a few weeks back that club secretary Stevie Carter is a Brora Rangers fan. He also supports Berwick Rangers – and his international team’s Faroe Islands. “You wouldn’t call him a glory hunter,” they say.
The match is largely uneventful, the crowd a disappointing 75 – many of whom have an ear on events at St James’ Park. Kenedy scores twice early on for Newcastle. “Isn’t that the bloke you rubbish in your blog, Ted?”
“It is,” says Ted.
Back on the 3G, Northern League media team man Russ Wynn grows concerned that it could be his first goalless draw in more than 200 matches before Ryan McGorrigan puts West Allotment ahead after 60-odd minutes.
It ends 2-1 to WAC, continuing an extraordinary record. In the Northern League’s near-130 year history – or in football elsewhere – has there ever been a more one-sided sequence?