Run and Football 4 Hylton Colliery 5th April 2023

Today’s run and football has been 3 weeks in the making. I’ve attended two other Wednesday Wearside League games but not had the time to to run. It is a bit damp but I’m determined to get a run in between work and the match even though it kicks off at 6.30pm due to the ground having no floodlights. First the other two games I’ve seen.

Review of Durham City V Wolverston 22nd March

Wearside League Division One: Durham City had only won one point all season and I expected them to be awful but they had 3 or 4 good looking players and worked hard for each other. Wolverston obviously expected to win the game and got a little frustrated as the first half wore on at 0-0. After the first goal on around 40 minutes there was only one winner. Durham City 0 Wolveston 1.

The ground at Leyburn Grove, Houghton was in the middle of a housing estate with access to the floodlight pitch across three other muddy fields in the dark. Not one for your new white trainers. Overall a better game than expected.

Durham City take the field

Review of Sunderland RCA Reserves V Barnard Castle 29th March

Wearside League Division Three: To this point Barnard Castle haven’t reached 10 league games of their 22 game season but have an excellent record when they have played. Sunderland RCA Reserves are lower mid table but the locals will be more concerned about Sunderland RCA of the Northern League who submitted, then rescinded their resignation from the league. New volunteers are now on board securing the club’s immediate future. Meadow Park is a bit of a relic, sloping pitch and surrounded by new build housing and a graveyard. The new and the old.

In the first half Barney kick down the slope and long balls over the top work perfectly for them to turn the defence round and create chance after chance. Against the run of play RCA take the lead as the left winger takes on a couple of players cut into the edge of the box and curls a nice shot past the keeper. Ten seconds of magic make it already worth the 40 minute drive and £2 honesty bucket entry fee. Barnard Castle quickly score at the other end but a mixture of committed defending and poor finishing leaves them frustrated with a 1-1 scoreline at half time.

Sunderland RCA Reserves make the most of the slope by scoring direct from a low free kick and tap home an open goal following a save by the keeper. Both sides struggle to create any opportunities after wholesale changes and the game ends Sunderland RCA Reserves 3 Barnard Castle 1 despite the Sunderland having a man sent off. A stereotypical games of two halves. Barnard Castle could have had 6 or 7 goals in the first half and were left to rue their misses.

Barney miss another chance with the keeper scrambling

About the teams

Hylton Colliery Welfare are struggling at the bottom of the second division of the Wearside League and have only accumulated 9 points so far. The club play at the Billy Hardy Centre which is named after the featherweight boxer who was a European and Commonwealth champion in the 1990’s and first boxed at the Hylton Castle Boys Club. Hetton Town are mid-table but have an outside chance of promotion with games in hand on those above them.

Outside the Billy Hardy sports complex

Going for a run

I’ve got 40 minutes before the game starts so decide not getting lost is the most important thing I want out of a run. An out and back with a photo opportunity at Hylton Castle only a quarter of a mile from the ground. Better planning or less work might have helped but I’m stuck now. I keep going until I run out of path, turn round and come back making the detour to the castle for a photograph. Not the most exciting run but another 4 miles in the bank and time for football.

Hylton Castle

Hylton Colliery Welfare V Hetton Town

Returning to the Billy Hardy Centre fills me full of melancholy. From the outside it looks just like our recreation ground in Craghead did thirty years ago. Concrete slat fencing, well maintained cricket, bowls and football pitches. Then the health and safety department at Derwentside District Council decided the fences were unsafe, removed them and failed to erect any new ones. We now have no cricket or bowls and the football field is unplayable and covered in mole hills.

The Game

I don’t know what I’m expecting but the game is scrappy with some decent young footballers on the sides of the pitch and more experienced players in the middle. After a couple of minutes I’m pretty confident Hlyton’s no 14 is a walking yellow card due to his aggressive play. Despite a few niggly fouls and a flare up or two I’m wrong and he avoids the referee’s notebook. His play reminds me of football in the 1990’s when more leeway was given by officials. I’m enjoying watching no 3 from the home team who despite limited mobility has a beautiful touch is always positive and can play a nice pass.

Hylton Colliery no3 brings the ball down

The away team are a more solid unit marshalled by the most argumentative player I’ve seen this season. No 4 would find something to complain about in an empty room but is a cut above Hyton’s limited attackers. A pretty even game in the first half with few chances, Hetton score after their left winger cuts in from the channel but other than a few interesting challenges everything goes smoothly.

First half action

Second Half

In contrast to last Wednesday’s game the second half continues in the same vein. Scrappy physical football with possession pretty equal but Hetton carrying much more of a threat. It isn’t much of a surprise when Hetton double their lead but the quality of the free kick surpasses anything seen in the game so far. A strong shot around the side of the wall and past the keeper into the bottom corner. As it starts to get dark Hetton score a third scrambled goal. Substitute no 18 shows more desire to reach the ball than the defenders and just does enough to get it over the line. Old fashioned centre forward play.

Darkness closes in and both teams agree we can go home a couple of minutes early. I can’t see anyone complaining not even Hetton’s no 4.

Darkness falls

Review of the day

Entry fee none

Programme none

Attendance Around 20 not announced

Run fun 3/10

Parking availability 8/10

Match entertainment 4/10

Adrian’s Pastry Index Not in attendance

Hylton Colliery Welfare website not updated for a few years

Run on Strava

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