Welcome to week 4, and what a week it was!
After a great win at Team North on Monday, it was back to the Wembley Dream against Holker Old Boys… a team who had successfully defeated two Northern League sides at home already this season, so a tough game was definitely on the cards.
We travelled down on the Friday night, which I believe is always a huge help. We had a couple of beers on the way, and there was plenty of banter amongst all the lads. We couldn’t shut up Az Croft! A few of the lads were missing due to different reasons: Borley on drinking duty in Killingworth; Brad snapped a nail on Thursday; and Scotty Robson was talking the lugs off his mates at work! After stopping for a £5 cup of tea with Jewelsy, and a couple of more bottles with Benno and the lads, we arrived at the Travel Lodge in Barrow, 10 yards from Dominos Pizza. Delta was a happy man with that!
We headed over to the Barrow FC ground for a couple of beers and glasses of coke with the lads to plan and prepare for the next day, a tough game on the cards, and lots of preparation was needed…
We woke up and a trip to ASDA for breakfast was enjoyed by all the lads. Delta and Stu had managed to buy a 99p bat and ball for reasons unknown as yet! After watching the first-half of the West Ham match and comparing look-alikes between Fozzy and Diame of West Ham, we were back on the bus, with banter flying, on the way to the ground.
After arriving at the ground, Borley and Clayton turned up and we were ready to go! The team was named, set-pieces were put up, team talk was done, and with the return of Jewelsy to the side, a little more bite in the changing rooms was clear to see.
After a fantastic first-half performance and two good goals from Tony and Borley put us in a lead we certainly deserved, the post stopped Kirky and a defender on the line stopped Jewelsy and Coxy. It was a tough half for Holker, and for Andy Hudson trying to update Hebburn’s Twitter account with our missed chances!
A goal back after half-time gave Holker half a sniff back in the game, but a majestic midfield performance by Borley, and two excellent central defensive performances from Kirky and Jewelsy, and a few more missed chances by us, we won the game 2-1, which could have been 6 or 7. I’m sure Holker would agree.
The bus journey was always going to be a good one after a win! It was top notch with plenty of beers drank, a few songs by MC Coxy, and with DJ Az Croft playing his tunes, a great evening was had by all, including all members of the committee I’m sure. The after party was back to Razza’s, and we think everyone got back home.
Tuesday was always going to be a tough game against a well run, established Northern League side in Benfield. They have previously won this league and have excellent individuals so a tough game was certainly expected. With Borley injured, and Fozzy missing due to being busy wining and dining his missus, we added Scotty Robson and Gards back in from Saturday.
A very tight game started, and very few chances were had by both sides. We played with a new shape and the lads adapted very well with Tony grafting up top brilliantly and Carl was excellent against his old side. The game was 0-0 at half-time and the result certainly reflected how the game went.
The second half started and me and Benno asked the lads to be slightly more ‘positive’ in the second-half, which the lads more than took on board. We attacked in numbers, and I felt a goal may be around the corner and it eventually came on the hour. An excellent free-kick from Jonny was well followed in by Gards to put us one up.
We coped well with Benfield when we didn’t have possession and threatened with two or three chances on the break for the remainder of the game when the referee eventually added on four minutes.
Again, balls came into the box which were brilliantly dealt with by central defenders Jewelsy and Kirky and then, in the final minute of stoppage time, the ball found itself to Stephen Young who made no mistake to equalise.
It was an unreal effort by our lads, and if anything, there is huge belief now that we can compete and collect points in this league.
“We go again on Saturday,” was the point made by me and Benno and the lads certainly looked to agree.
Penrith away on Saturday brings another tough game, and another bus journey. I’m very sure we will have some stories for next week, and if anyone within the north-east area fancies babysitting James Luccock on the bus is more than welcome to…
See you next week guys!
Read Deano’s Diary – week 3.