Run and Football 2023-24 Pre-season game 2

When I was a boy Saint and Greavsie had Tranmere Rovers as their Friday Night Favorites and frequently played their match highlights. In an era when match highlights weren’t available instantly this was a novel approach by the Prenton Park club which got them more publicity. Fast forward 30 years and you can watch 11th tier highlights within minutes of goals being scored, everyone can be a Friday Night Favourite.

Hebburn is my run and football destination tonight. Whitley Bay are the visitors in a Northern Premier East V Northern League friendly. Hebburn Town are a supporter owned club which is music to my ears. No boom and bust at the whim of an investor. In the programme even the chairman looks cool with a cracking moustache I’m pretty jealous of. Page three states;

“Hebburn Town FC is a members only, incorporated, not-for-profit association, managed by an elected voluntary management committee and held in trust as prescribed within the club constitution.”

Outside the Green Energy Sports Ground in Hebburn

Time For A Run

My usual Friday Favourites are the Friday Run Club, meeting at lunchtime in Stanley for around 10K. We have kept going for about 5 years now but creaky bodies, having a real job and parenthood have started to get in the way. I’ve got no car so my first mile is straight up Durham Road and Wear Road to the Civic Hall meeting point. I’m a bit sweaty by the time I get there but quickly dry off in the sun waiting for my companions.

Stanley Town Council Northumbria In Bloom Display

Today there is only Graham, his dog Bruce and me. It is pretty warm so Bruce just does a couple of miles before retreating to the cool with his rabbits foot snack. We do another few miles at a steady pace enjoying the sunshine but I’m relieved when it is time to run home. Another 9 miles in the bag which I’m happy about after recent injuries. After a few hours more work it is time for football.

Graham and Bruce


I think it is the first time I’ve been to Hebburn but I’ve seen the comedy series. It looks like a lovely place compared to the TV depiction. Canny sized houses and wide streets. The ground is part of a larger complex of fields just off the road, Hebburn Sports Club. Hebburn Sports Club have a remarkably similar badge to the football club but were founded in 2017 compared to the town’s football club in 1912.

After my experience last week in Birtley it is around an hour before kick off when I arrive. There seems to be only one turnstile open but that is sufficient for the numbers entering. Another reason for arriving early is the programmes sold out at the last game. I’m happy to secure one and a half time 50/50 draw ticket. The next half hour is spent enjoying the sun, flicking through the programme and watching the players warm up.

First view after entering the ground

Hebburn Town v Whitley Bay

Whitley have some familiar players on show from our visit to their ground last season. Goalkeeper Dan Lister had a good game that day and he is in goal again. I have a little walk exploring some of the ground. A couple of nice stands and an impressive clubhouse/bar. The new Hebburn branded snack hut looks like it should be completed for the new season.

New snack hut and toilets at Hebburn Town

Hebburn enjoy a spell of possession right from the start of the match and look sharp. This is their third pre season game and Whitley’s first. Buzzing around like the Hornets in their nickname the home side knock the ball about nicely and are energetic. Just when Whitley look like getting a foot in the game their centre half tries to push the play forward with a pass to centre midfield. A Hebburn midfielder reads the pass at the halfway line feeds a nice pass forward. Clinical finishing follows and it is 1-0 after 10 minutes.

Hebburn celebrate scoring the first goal

For the next 15 minutes Hebburn are on top and have a couple of good chances. Their young players are causing all sorts of problems and closing the Whitley defenders down very quickly. Totally against the run of play an equaliser is scored. A run down the left wing seems to be going nowhere before a cross/shot surprisingly nestles in the bottom corner. Even the Seahorses fans behind me are stunned. I’ve got no idea how it went in.

A first half throw in

Another Quality Finish

Two minutes later Hebburn are back in front. A long ball in controlled 20 yards from the goal and chipped beautifully over the stranded keeper into the top corner. The Hornets goals have been worth the admission price alone and neither are expected to be regulars this season. The home side remain on top for the remainder of the half which ends 2-1. I get my half time draw ticket out but don’t hear the number being called out. Better luck next time!

First half action

A Closer Second Half

Substitutions start at halftime with each side making a few changes. Whitley begin to keep possession better and have a lot of the ball with Hebburn more passive and inviting the Northern League side to break them down.

Whitley try to find a way through

Very few chances for either side until another interception goal. One of the Hebburn centre halves reads another Whitley pass into the middle of the park. He quickly gets to the ball, runs forward unchallenged and slots in calmly past the keeper 3-1. Another enjoyable goal. Game over with 15 minutes left to play. Both sides continue to move players around and bring on substitutions. Hebburn come close again but by now the game has slowed and the energy of the first half is gone.

Flags flying outside the ground

Both side seem happy with the final whistle and I’m away home to lock the chickens up before it gets dark. Outside the ground I’m asked by a lad and his dad what the score was. I’m a bit confused as they have just left the ground but I’m happy to say 3-1 to Hebburn. The kid then asks his dad which league they are in. He doesn’t answer and I’m 20 metres past them so don’t feel shouting “Northern Premier East” is going to help either of them.

Hebburn Goals

As predicted I’m not even home when the Hebburn goals are posted on twitter. I’d have liked to see a bit more of the build up for each one but I think they are all cracking finishes.

Entry Fee Adults £6

Programme £3 covering all Hebburn pre season games

Attendance 469

Run fun 5/10

Parking availability 3/10

Match entertainment 6/10

2023-24 Number of games attended 2

2023-24 Number of new grounds 2

Hebburn Town FC website

Run on Strava

If you enjoyed reading Run and football 2023-24 Pre-season game 2 I’m sure you will like dipping into our archive of Run and Football for the 2022-23 season.

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