Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Chilli back in the groove as Town sweep Whitehaven aside


Town manager Peter Mulcaster watching over another victory
A BRACE from the returning Carl Chillingsworth helped ease Town to a comfortable victory over Whitehaven on Monday evening as Peter Mulcaster's side put Saturday's capitulation at Morpeth firmly behind them.

After Steve Butterworth curled home a delightful opener midway through the first half, Chillingsworth sealed the win with two close range headers just before the break to mark his return to the side in fine style, before Col Anderson completed the scoring in the second half.

"It was a much better performance tonight," said Mulcaster at the whistle. "It was a difficult start but once we got in front it was fairly comfortable. We could have scored two or three more in the second half but it is a very good result for us in the end."

Captain Danny Shoulder was equally pleased with the performance, especially the first half. "That makes up for Saturday," he said, also at the whistle. "It was important we put that behind us. Some of the older lads tired in the second half but we got the job done and we will go again on Wednesday."

With Grant Hickman on holiday and Mickey Dunwell, Ian Smurthwaite, Steve Banks and Dave Alderson all unavailable, Mulcaster made changes to the side beaten 6-0 two days earlier. So Craig Winter, Andrew Porritt, James Bowman, Anderson and Chillingsworth all returned to the starting XI.

In a subdued atmosphere more resembling a pre-season friendly, Town started slowly but Anderson sparked them to life with a thrilling run down the right in the 17th minute which nearly forced an own goal from Kevin Law.

And Town did go in front five minutes later. Gav Parkin played a short corner to Butterworth on the left-hand edge of the area and he curled the ball past goalkeeper Brian Miller from 20 yards - a great way to end his 21-match goal drought.

Steve Butterworth, right, celebrates his goal with Gav Parkin and Craig Winter
Emson then fired wide after combining with Anderson and Chillingsworth, before Chillingsworth doubled the Town advantage five minutes before the break. The veteran striker, who had not played for the previous month following a family bereavement, was in the right place to head into an empty net after a lovely cross from the left by Emson.

And it was 3-0 in first half stoppage time. Parkin whipped a corner from the left to the far post where Anderson headed back across goal for Chillingworth to nod home from close range.

Mulcaster made a change at the break with Jon Burton, proving his fitness for the cup final, replacing Winter at the back, and it was nearly 4-0 within two minutes of the restart. The Whitehaven defence failed to clear another Parkin set piece delivery and after a game of pin-ball in the penalty area, Emson hit the post from close range.

It was destined not to the Town leading scorers' night as he was later denied by Miller after being put through by Butterworth, while Butterworth himself saw a chip saved by the Whitehaven stopper soon after.

But Town did grab a fourth on the hour. Again Parkin created the opportunity with a delicious free kick from the left and Anderson arrived at the far post to head past Miller.

Col Anderson, number 11, nips in front of Carl Chillingworth to head the Town 4th
Anderson then hit the post with a carbon-copy move six minutes later before being replaced by Academy graduate David Cooke. However, Cooke lasted only four minutes before pulling up with a hamstring injury and was replaced himself by fellow-Academy player Curt Tasker.

Whitehaven, who struggled to get out of second gear all night, were close to a late consolation when Matt Tymon hit the post from 6 yards following a Stuart Shaw free kick, but Town finished on top.

Tasker almost grabbed his first goal for the club when he was just unable to get on the end of Emson's drilled cross from the left five minutes from time, while Emson then fired wide from 25 yards.

Town will bring their league campaign to a close when Thornaby are the visitors on Wednesday evening.

"We know that if we win on Wednesday we will finish 6th, which will make it a good season," said Mulcaster. "We were 8th when I took over so there has been an improvement in league position, and of course we have reached the cup final."

More Town celebrations.
The date and venue for that cup final has been confirmed as Monday 6 May at Billingham Synthonia. Kick off is 12 noon. Town are running a bus to the game which leaves the ground at 10.30am. The clubhouse is open for breakfast from 9am.

TOWN - Briggs, Porritt, Bowman, Shoulder, Winter, Parkin, Butterworth, Laing, Chillingsworth, Emson, Anderson. Subs - Burton, Cooke, Tasker, Hudson.

WHITEHAVEN - Miller, Brown, Smith(S), Smith(J), Law, Bragg, Quayle, Tymon, Hodgson, Shaw, Robson. Subs - Dustin, Pettitt.

REFEREE - S. Henry


*Pictures courtesy of Paul Gaythorpe at Pk4Images. Not to be reporduced without permission

Monday, 29 April 2013

Promotion over as Town are hit for six


TOWN’S fading promotion hopes were blown away completely as Peter Mulcaster’s ten men slumped to their heaviest defeat of the season at Morpeth on Saturday.

Town arrived at Craik Park knowing nothing less than a victory would keep their promotion hopes alive and it may have been a different story had Ian Smurthwaite not been dismissed after 25 minutes with the score still at 0-0.
But with only ten-men, Mulcaster’s side were always up against it and in-form Morpeth confirmed their own promotion with what turned out to be comfortable victory in the end.

Mulcaster rang the changes following Wednesday night’s cup semi final victory over Jarrow Roofing with Smurthwaite, James Bowman, Marcus Laing and Steve Butterworth coming in for Craig Winter, Andrew Porritt, Dave Alderson and Col Anderson.

Town started slowly but were still very much in the game when Smurthwaite saw red for an alleged professional foul on Mickey Chilton mid-way through the first half, and as he made the long walk down the tunnel, Town’s promotion hopes went with him.

Chilton soon put the Highwaymen ahead and it was all over for Town when Stephen Anderson and Ashley McAlpine added further efforts just before the break.

It was now just a case of how many the hosts would score. Chilton added a second soon after the restart, his 40th goal of the season, before Alex Benjamin and Damon Mullen added to the Town misery in the closing stages.

“It was a very poor performance,” said Mulcaster. “I’m very dissatisfied with some of the players but I have to say Morpeth were head and shoulders above us.”

With promotion now over for another season, Mulcaster's side can turn their attention to the final two home matches against Whitehaven and Thornaby this week, before the final of the Ernest Armstrong Cup next Monday evening.
Town, and their loyal band of supporters, will be hoping for a better performance than they witnessed here.
TOWN - Briggs, Banks, Smurthwaite, Hickman, Shoulder, Butterworth, Parkin, Laing, Bowman, Emson, Dunwell. Subs - Winter, Porritt.
REFEREE - M. Bunting

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Town back in the final as the Jarrow roof falls in


TOWN remain on course to retain the Ernest Armstrong Trophy as two goals in two second half minutes from Col Anderson and Adam Emson completed a fine comeback against Jarrow Roofing at the RGPS on Wednesday night.

After overcoming the shock of going behind inside the opening two minutes with a superb equaliser from Mickey Dunwell before half time, Town booked their place in the final for a second year in a row with quick fire goals from Anderson and Emson midway through the second period - the perfect way for Peter Mulcaster to celebrate being confirmed as full time manager.

"I am delighted it is all sorted," said Mulcaster after being told the good news in the wake of this semi final victory. "It means we can now plan for next season. This is the best group of players I have ever worked with and hopefully we can retain most of them.

"I was extremely fortunate to inherit such a talented group and thankfully we managed to keep them all with us. The aim now is to improve the squad for next season so we can achieve our aim of promotion."

As for the match itself Mulcaster said: "We deserved it tonight. We worked hard and played with more intensity than we did on Saturday. It is great to be in the final again and of course we want to win it now.

"Although we scored the important goals in second half, I thought we were outstanding before the break. The early goal seemed to really focus us and we played some good football. The final will be another tough game against a very good West Allotment Celtic side, but we have three league games to play before we can think about that."

Mulcaster made four changes to the side that had won 2-0 in a subdued performance at Jarrow on Saturday. So in came Danny Shoulder, David Alderson, new father Gav Parkin and Anderson in place of James Bowman, Steve Butterworth, Marcus Laing and Ian Smurthwaite.

Grant Hickman saw switched from centre back to left back with Alderson coming into the midfield for his defensive qualities. Elsewhere Anderson, who had missed the previous two matches, was back on the right wing in place of Butterworth, who dropped down to the bench.

Meanwhile, Jarrow made five changes - Jon Carmichael, Darren Reay, Kevin Davison, Josh Allen and Dan Carson replacing Ryan Graham, David Hedley, Chris Hepple, Dan Smart and Josh Larthy.

But the Roofers were given the perfect start with a goal inside 90 seconds. A back-pass from Town skipper Shoulder was sliced by goalkeeper James Briggs straight into the path of Allen who had the simple task of rolling the ball into an empty net from 6 yards.

And it was very nearly 2-0, six minutes later when David Palmer got clear down the right, but Reay fired over the top from 10 yards.

However, Town slowly began to settle into the semi final and Emson had a great chance to equalise after 12 minutes. Parkin sent the 35-goal striker clear with a lovely ball through the centre but with only goalkeeper Carmichael to beat, Emson screwed his shot wide of the right-hand upright.

Anderson was next to go close with an effort that was superbly saved by Carmichael after a lovely ball from Andrew Porritt, before Emson saw a shot blocked by defender Andrew Grant-Soulsby.

Mulcaster was then forced into an change in midfield when Alderson jarred his knee and was replaced by Butterworth, but it did not disrupt the Town rhythm and they were deservedly level in the 28th minute. Porritt found Parkin on the edge of the Jarrow area and his reverse pass was flicked on by Emson into the path of Dunwell who smashed home from 12 yards.

Town began the second period in a similar fashion with Dunwell going close before Emson had an effort ruled out for offside after more good play from Porritt.

But Jarrow always looked dangerous on the counter attack and Briggs redeemed himself for his earlier error with a fine save to deny David Carson nine minutes after the restart.

Then, moments later, Grant-Soulsby nodded a Dan Carson free kick wide of the target when he really ought to have scored, and that proved to be Jarrow's last chance as Town clinched their place in the final with two goals in two minutes midway through the second half.

Anderson put Town ahead with a powerful header from Porritt's 69th minute cross while Emson then burst through to chip the ball over Carmichael before running to celebrate with the fans behind the goal.

"I am dedicating that goal to my biggest fan, Emerson Butler," said Emson. "He could not be here tonight as it is a school night but I know he will be chuffed when his dad tells him all about it. I know he probably only likes me as our names are similar but I appreciate his support so this goal is for him."

And there was a real carnival atmosphere in the final twenty minutes. Anderson was teasing full back Jamie Marshall time and again while Emson and Craig Winter both came close to making the final score even more emphatic.

No date or venue for the final has yet been confirmed.

Before that however, Town have three league fixtures to complete as they chase the final promotion place, starting with the long trip to third-placed Morpeth Town on Saturday.

"We know promotion is out of our hands," said Mulcaster. "But we still want to end the season in style and finish as high as we can. We will go to Morpeth looking to win."

* Programme from this match is available to view here for free

TOWN - Briggs, Banks, Hickman, Shoulder, Winter, Parkin, Anderson, Alderson, Dunwell, Emson, Porritt. Subs - Butterworth, Laing, Bowman, Caisley.

JARROW ROOFING - Carmichael, Grant-Soulsby, Marshall, Dixon, Carson (Dan), Reay, Palmer, Myers, Davison, Allen, Carson (David). Subs - Kane, Oliver, Gray, Graham.



Saturday, 20 April 2013

Emson goal drought over as Town stage Roofing robbery


A first half penalty from Ian Smurthwaite and a late Adam Emson strike saw the dress rehearsal of this week's Ernest Armstrong Cup semi final go the way of Town at Boldon Colliery on Saturday 

Smurthwaite gave Town the perfect start when he converted from the spot after Jarrow's on-loan goalkeeper Ryan Graham had bundled over Grant Hickman in the six yard box after just 12 minutes.

But it was far from a classic Town performance as, even after Graham's day had gone from bad to worse when he was shown a second yellow card eight minutes before the break, Town failed to find any rhythm to their play and were slightly fortunate to seal the points with Emson's 35th goal of the season late on.

"It was hard to tell which side had 10 men out there," said manager Peter Mulcaster at the whistle. "They were the better team throughout but we have come away from home after a tough week and won 2-0 so we will take that."

Having picked up four points from two tough away trips already this week, the Town starting XI showed just two changes from the draw at Ryton on Wednesday. Goalkeeper James Briggs was nursing a groin injury so Dean Hudson stepped in, while Steve Banks replaced the absent David Alderson at right back.

With new father Gav Parkin still missing, Smurthwaite continued in midfield, while Academy graduates Alex Caisley and Curt Tasker were on the bench along with club captain Danny Shoulder.

But it was third-placed Jarrow who started well and they dominated the early exchanges. Winger David Carson was causing all sorts of problems with his quick feet but all too often he lacked a finishing touch to his fine approach play.

Then, completely against the run of play, Town broke out to grab a 12th minute lead. The Roofers failed to clear a Stephen Butterworth corner and as Hickman attempted to head it back across goal, Graham clattered into him, leaving referee John Matthew no option other than to point to the spot.

After the Jarrow protests had died down, Smurthwaite took on the responsibility and, just as he had at Whickham earlier this week, made no mistake with a coolly executed kick.

The hosts, like Town, desperately in need of the points for their own promotion push, responded well although they were restricted to mainly long range efforts from a well organised visiting back line. But when they did break through, ten minutes after going behind, Hudson came to Town's rescue with a superb save to deny Chris Hepple.

That proved to be the turning point as Mulcaster's men were given a further boost eight minutes before the break. Emson raced onto a through ball from Andrew Porritt before being brought down right on the edge of the penalty by the on-rushing Graham.

Having already been booked in the earlier penalty incident, the Jarrow 'keeper was not surprised to see Matthew go to his top pocket again and defender Michael Hedley was forced to don the gloves.

But it was the ten-man Roofers who finished the half on top. Carson saw an effort deflected wide by Craig Winter while Anth Myers was not far away with a stinging effort from distance soon after.

The second period followed a similar pattern, with Jarrow largely on top and Town looking to play on the break. However, apart from an early effort from Mickey Dunwell that flew harmlessly over the top, Mulcaster's side created very little until the closing stages.

Indeed it was Hudson who was the busier 'keeper, saving at the feet of Carson ten minutes after the restart, before tipping a free kick from the same player over the top, three minutes later.

Mulcaster made changes, bringing on Shoulder and Caisley for James Bowman and Dunwell, and the fresh legs seemed to give Town some late impetus. Caisley should have done better fifteen minutes from time after Hedley had mis-kicked a clearance straight to him, while Butterworth then fired narrowly wide after a strong run from Smurthwaite.

But with two minutes remaining Town finally sealed the points. Butterworth and Caisley combined on the edge of the Jarrow penalty area and Emson found himself with time and space to place a beautiful left-footed shot beyond the reach of Hedley to make it 2-0 -  his first goal in 4 matches.

Job done.

"It was a relief to end my goal drought," said Emson. "That is now the third goal on the trot I have scored in the last minute, following the strikes against Alnwick and Chester-Le-Street, so if I can start playing for the other 89 minutes I might get a few more before the end of the season."

With Darlington RA and Morpeth Town both winning, fourth place remains tantalisingly out of reach for Town as the season reaches a thrilling climax. The promotion issues could be decided next weekend as Mulcaster's side travel to Morpeth in a real six-pointer, while the RA are at second-placed Ryhope CW.

But before all that is the small matter of Wednesday's night's semi final re-match with Jarrow at the RGPS. With both sides missing some key players for this encounter it is impossible to read too much into this result.

Will Jarrow take heart from their good performance with ten men? Will Town take confidence from the win while being far from their best? I guess we will just have to wait until Wednesday to find out.

In the meantime, Mulcaster was keen to praise the squads newest member.

"Andrew Porritt has been a real shining light for us," said Mulcaster. "He is a very tidy player with an outstanding work ethic. He has come in and immediately made a massive impression on everyone. He has been a really great addition for us at this crucial stage of the season."

JARROW ROOFING - Graham, Soulsby, Marshall, Dixon, Hedley, Hepple, Palmer, Myers, Smart, Lathy, Carson (David). Subs - Loiver, Reay, Gray, Carson (Dan), Allen.

TOWN - Hudson, Banks, Bowman, Hickman, Winter, Smurthwaite, Butterworth, Laing, Dunwell, Emson, Porritt. Subs - Shoulder, Caisley, Tasker.

REFEREE - J. Matthews.


Thursday, 18 April 2013

Ten-man Town Dun-well to grab a late point


A last gasp equaliser from Mickey Dunwell saw 10-man Town stage another late comeback to rescue a point from a bad tempered match at Kingsley Park on Wednesday evening.

It did not appear to be Town's night when the 75th minute dismissal of Grant Hickman for a professional foul on Liam McKenna was quickly followed by a free kick from Mark Waite to give the hosts an undeserved lead.

But Peter Mulcaster's side once again refused to accept defeat and in the second minute of stoppage time, Dunwell rose to nod home a long throw from Dave Alderson and bring them a share of the spoils.

"We have shown great character once again," said a proud Mulcaster at the whistle. "Ironically we played better in the first half and perhaps could have been 2 or 3 up, but that is football.

"The conditions were awful, especially in the second period, but we stuck at it and a draw was the least we deserved in the end."

With several players still unavailable, Mulcaster was forced into two changes from Monday's win at Whickham. Hickman returned to the back four in place of Alex Caisley, while Dunwell replaced the absent Col Anderson up front.

Playing against the strong wind in the first half, Town started well. Steve Butterworth was at the heart of everything, shooting wide early on before then crossing for Dunwell to place a header narrowly over the top. Butterworth then somehow failed to force the ball home from close range after Dunwell and Andrew Porritt had been denied by Ryton goalkeeper John Mordey.

Adam Emson, without a goal in the previous three matches, fired wide after a strong burst down the right, before Dunwell drilled over the top from 20 yards after linking well with his strike partner, twelve minutes before the break.

The hosts were restricted to mainly long range efforts but they could have gone in front moments later when a shot from Michael Watson was deflected wide by James Bowman with goalkeeper James Briggs wrong-footed.

With the wind picking up in the second half, and blowing from left to right, good football was almost impossible and it led to strange 45 minutes. Goal kicks were blown straight out of play while one free kick from Waite ended up sailing back over his head.

But the hosts felt they had taken the lead within seconds of the restart when a shot from Lawrence McKenna was parried by Briggs before Craig Winter hooked the ball clear. The Ryton players were convinced it had already crossed the line but referee John Harper waved away their appeals and it remained 0-0.

With the wind making it difficult for Albion to get out of their own half, chances came and went as Town chased the all-important breakthrough. Winter shot narrowly wide after a neat turn on the edge of the area, before Emson and Monday night goal hero Marcus Laing were denied by Mordey.

Town then felt they should have had a penalty just past the hour-mark when a corner from the right by Bowman appeared to strike the arm of defender Daniel Iredale, who was deceived by the flight of the ball, but again Harper was unimpressed.

The whole complexion of the match, however, turned on the dismissal of Hickman fifteen minutes from time. McKenna appeared to run across the path of Hickman but having blown for a foul, Harper was left with little option other than to produce a red card for the unfortunate defender.

Then, to rub salt into Town wounds, Waite stepped up and drilled the free kick around the outside of the wall and just inside Briggs' near post.

With defeat almost certain to end any lingering promotion hopes, Mulcaster's side once again showed the character that has seen them come from behind on more than 10 occasions this season. Emson and Winter both come close to an equaliser in the final ten minutes before they were rewarded for their efforts in the second minute of stoppage time.

A long throw from the right by Alderson caused confusion in the Ryton area and Dunwell rose highest to nod the ball past Mordey from 6 yards to send the travelling fans behind the goal into raptures.

But the night ended on an unsavoury note as the home players reacted to a challenge from Ian Smurthwaite which lead to a 21-man brawl. Referee Harper appeared to lose control and in the end showed just two yellow cards when he could have easily brandished another 3 or 4 reds.

"We were never going to be able to win every match playing Monday, Wednesday and Saturday each week," said Mulcaster. "But we have been on a very good run and I cannot praise the lads highly enough."

The tough schedule continues with a trip to Jarrow Roofing on Saturday before the same opponents visit the RGPS in the semi final of the Ernest Armstrong Cup the following Wednesday.

RYTON AND CRAWCROOK - Mordey, Iredale, Compson, Crane, Turnbull, Waite, Backhouse, Watson, McKenna (Lawrence), McKenna (Liam), King.
Subs - Smith, Nairn, Baker, Ruddick, Below.

TOWN - Briggs, Alderson, Bowman, Hickman, Winter, Smurthwaite, Butterworth, Laing, Dunwell, Emson, Porritt. Subs - Caisley, Grainger.

REFEREE - J. Harper.


Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Laing leaves it late as Town stay in promotion hunt


A dramatic last minute winner from Marcus Laing completed another thrilling Town comeback on Monday evening as Peter Mulcaster's side left Whickham with three important points.

Town's fading promotion hopes looked over when a first half effort from Chris Rook put the hosts in control. But, after Ian Smurthwaite had equalised from the penalty spot midway through the second half, the stage was set for Laing to win it.

"It was not a great performance by any means but a win is a win," said Mulcaster at the whistle. "The first half was not good enough but we were much better after the break.

"We don't have a big squad in terms of numbers but they are a great set of lads and they never know when they are beaten. Promotion is out of our hands but we'll keep going and try to win our remaining matches."

As promised, Mulcaster rotated his squad making five changes from Saturday's disappointing defeat against West Allotment Celtic. So in came David Alderson, Craig Winter, Smurthwaite, Alex Caisley and Laing for Steve Banks, Danny Shoulder, Grant Hickman, Gav Parkin and Mickey Dunwell.

After a bright start from Town which saw Adam Emson twice bring saves from home goalkeeper Scott Cresswell, it was Whickham who had the better of the first half.

Former Gateshead striker Ian Robson drilled a shot just wide of James Briggs' left-hand post after a sliced clearance from Smurthwaite in the 22nd minute, while Briggs then came to Town's rescue after Robson had capitalised on a weak back-header from Winter.

But the hosts did go in front six minutes before the break. Rudi Nellas whipped in a dangerous cross from the right and winger Rook nipped in to head home at the near post.

And it was nearly 2-0 moments later. The tricky Abu Salim broke at pace down the right but his effort flew just the wrong side of the far post.

Mulcaster's side had chances to equalise before the break as Steve Butterworth fired over from 8 yards after good work from Col Anderson, while Caisley then headed over at the far post after another cross from Anderson.

That proved to be the youngsters last meaningful contribution as Caisley was replaced at half time by Mickey Dunwell, with Anderson, who had started up front, moving wide.

It led to a much-improved Town performance in the second period, although they were still struggling to break down a hard-working Whickham back line. Butterworth finally tested Cresswell from an Anderson free kick in the 56th minute, while Emson's low cross from the left was scrambled clear by Kris Allen five minutes later.

But Town were literally given a helping hand midway through the second half. Laing's corner from the left was only half cleared by the Whickham defence the ball bounced up and hit Mark Pattison on the arm. Referee Linzi Robinson was perfectly placed to point to the spot and Smurthwaite did the rest with a perfectly executed kick to make it 1-1.

Parkin was then brought on in place of Butterworth and Town suddenly began to create chances. Winter came close with a shot on the turn that flew just wide of the angle of post and crossbar before Dunwell was denied by Cresswell after a long throw from Alderson had caused confusion in the home penalty area.

With time running out, Town threw everything forward in a late bid to turn one point into three. Laing thought he had won it with five minutes left, heading a Parkin corner against the inside of the post, before seeing another effort cleared off the line by Craig Cavanagh.

But it was a case of third time for the former Thornaby midfielder. With the clock ticking down towards the 90 minute mark, Winter's header appeared to be rolling harmlessly out of play when Anderson nipped in, returned the ball into the 6 yard box where Laing arrived to nod beyond Cresswell.

The perfect end to what had been a less than perfect performance.

"Gav (Parkin) made a big difference when he came on," said Mulcaster. "But I thought the back four was outstanding tonight. Whickham looked dangerous on the counter-attack but we coped very well with all they had to offer. Now we have to do it all over again at Ryton on Wednesday."

With Morpeth and Darlington RA both winning again, the gap to 4th place remains 7 points with just six matches remaining. Town now need to rely on others if they to clinch promotion but while it is still mathematically possible, you can guarantee no one at the club will be giving up.

WHICKHAM - Cresswell, Allen, Pattison, Cavanagh, Poppleton, Nelus, Salim, MacIntosh, Swanston, Robson, Rook. Subs - Larkin, Peareth, Holmes, Barlow, O'Donnell.

TOWN - Briggs, Alderson, Bowman, Smurthwaite, Winter, Laing, Caisley, Butterworth, Anderson, Emson, Porritt. Subs - Dunwell, Hickman, Parkin, Cooke.

REFEREE - L. Robinson.


Sunday, 14 April 2013

Town promotion hopes in tatters as Celtic close the back door


TOWN'S hopes of sneaking into the promotion back door suffered a potentially fatal blow on Saturday as a well organised West Allotment Celtic left the RGPS with all three points.

In a surprisingly low-key encounter between two sides who came into the match in great form, chances at either end were at a premium and an early goal from Celtic's Dean Lee saw Peter Mulcaster's side slip seven points off 4th place with just six matches remaining.

"It was not such a good performance today," said a disappointed Mulcaster. "We were slow to get started, never got to grips with the game and hardly looked like we were going to get a goal.
"I don't know if the amount of games is catching up with us but we certainly did not have our usual spark."
With injuries still taking their toll, the Town starting XI showed just one change from the win at Horden on Wednesday evening - Danny Shoulder coming back into the side in place of the absent Marcus Laing. That led to changes elsewhere as Steve Banks was switched to right back with Andrew Porritt moving forward onto the wing and Steve Butterworth coming inside.

However, it was the visitors who made the better start as they scored what proved to be the only goal of the game in the 5th minute. A ball played in from the left from Liam Hudson was not cleared by a static Town defence and the ball fell kindly to the feet of Lee who had the simple chance of beating Town goalkeeper James Briggs from close range.

Mulcaster's side looked for an instant response and they were close to an equaliser four minutes later. Adam Emson has been linking well with strike-partner Michael Dunwell in recent weeks and the two almost combined again as Emson's cross from the left was met by Dunwell, but he fired over the top from 10 yards.

Celtic were soon back on top as a 30-yard drive from player-manager Paul Stoneman in the 25thminute went just wide of Briggs right hand post, while Town’s best effort in what had been a disappointing first half came in the 34thminute.

A pull-back from the right bye-line by Col Anderson found Butterworth but from a good position just to the left of goal, he fired high over the bar.

With both sides having endured a heavy recent fixture schedule it was no surprise that the second period lacked energy, but Celtic were close to doubling their lead in the 55th minute. A long forward pass forward from Hudson through the inside left channel found David Henderson, but his shot lacked accuracy and flew wide of the post.

Town made their first substitution moments later with Mulcaster making a tactical change - bringing on Ian Smurthwaite for Butterworth in the centre of midfield - and the move was almost successful as Town came close to equalising twenty minutes from time.

A 25-yard free kick from Dunwell was charged down by the Celtic defence and the loose ball fell to Smurthwaite who was in the clear in front of goal, but he produced a weak shot straight at goalkeeper Lee Wall.

Celtic regained the upper hand and they went close to adding a second in the 81stminute when a shot from a tight angle by Lee was beaten away by Briggs, who was relived to see the rebound bounce off the winger and behind for a goal-kick.

It was Town who made the stronger finish with Grant Hickman heading inches over the bar following a Gav Parkin left wing cross while substitute Alex Caisley also came close.

Then, in a last ditch effort to save the game, Mulcaster brought on giant central defender Craig Winter to play up front in place of leading scorer Emson. But, much to the frustration of everyone inside the RGPS, the visitors hung on to take the points back to Tyneside.

Promotion is now out of Town's hands as they need both Darlington RA and Morpeth Town to drop points if they are to sneak into 4th place. However, wins at Whickham on Monday evening and Ryton and Crawcrook two days later could just open that back door again.

"We now have two big games this week," said Mulcaster. "My thoughts are to try to rotate the players without weakening our chances of finishing as high up the league as possible with the cup semi final in mind. We will keep going and see what happens."

*Everyone at Northallerton Town would like offer congratulations to Crook Town who sealed promotion to Division One with a win at Whitehaven on Saturday.*

TOWN - Briggs, Banks, Bowman, Shoulder, Hickman, Parkin, Anderson, Butterworth, Dunwell, Emson, Porritt. Subs - Smurthwaite, Caisley, Winter, Alderson.

WEST ALLOTMENT CELTIC - Wall, Douglas, Dunnett, Dunn, Stoneman, Reid, Finley, Henderson, Hudson, Bell, Lee. Subs - Raffo, Johnstone, Hogg, Little.



Thursday, 11 April 2013

Hat-trick hero Dunwell makes it a happy Horden return for Mully


TOWN'S late bid for a promotion gathered momentum last night as a magnificent hat-trick from Mickey Dunwell and a strike from Col Anderson made it a happy return to Horden for Peter Mulcaster.

After an equally impressive away victory at Chester-Le-Street 48 hours earlier, Mulcaster's side overcame a sluggish start to ease to an important three points thanks to the finishing power of Dunwell and the energy of Anderson.

"Tonight we were made to work hard for our win," said former Horden boss Mulcaster at the whistle. "But in the end our quality showed through with a great treble by Mickey and another good goal from Col.

"It's difficult to explain why sometimes against lower sides you don't play as well as you can, but football is all about results and our last two games have been wins with 9 goals scored and only 2 conceded, a great return for all the efforts of the players."

With injuries still taking their toll, Mulcaster was only able to make two changes from the side that had started at Chester on Monday. Skipper Danny Shoulder, still nursing a knee injury, was replaced in the back four by Steve Banks, while Dean Hudson came in for injured goalkeeper James Briggs.

With the hosts battling against relegation this was never going to be an easy night for Town and Horden worked hard from the start. But slowly Mulcaster's side began to settle and Steve Butterworth, again employed in an unfamiliar left midfield role, shot wide from distance before Adam Emson and Dunwell combined only for Emson's cross to evade his strike partner in the 6 yard box.

Horden were forced into an early change when left-back Josh Andrews had to be replaced by Stephen Hookaday but they twice came close to grabbing the lead through the dangerous Darren Atkinson, who recently stepped down from the role of player-manager.

However, it was Mulcaster's side who did make the breakthrough midway through the first half. Emson was twice denied by Horden goalkeeper Grant McIver but when James Bowman returned the ball to the danger zone, Dunwell was on hand to finish from close range.

That settled the nerves and the points could have been sealed by the break. Anderson was bravely denied by McIver from point-blank range while the Horden 'keeper then made a fine stop from Emson.

But while it was only 1-0, Town were always vulnerable to a counter-attack and only a fine last-ditch block from Grant Hickman prevented Atkinson from an unlikely equaliser just before the break.

The second half saw Town start with more tempo to their play and they doubled their advantage seven minutes after the resumption. Again the impressive Bowman created the opportunity with a lovely cross-field ball to Anderson, who cut inside Hookaday before drilling a shot under the body of McIver, who may have felt he should have saved it.

However, Horden were thrown a lifeline five minutes later. Tricky winger James Murphy walzted into the area before going down under a clumsy challenge from Butterworth and Atkinson smashed the penalty past Hudson.

That led to difficult few minutes for Town as the Colliers sensed a comeback. Adam Kidson curled a dangerous free kick just beyond the reach of Murphy at the far post while Atkinson was denied by a Hickman block.

But Town weathered the storm and sealed the points with a third goal in the 63rd minute. Anderson did well down the right before the ball broke to Emson and his cross found Dunwell at the far post. The former Hartlepool striker controlled it instantly before finding the top left-hand corner of the net from 10 yards.

And it was 4-1, two minutes later. Andrew Porritt, again impressive at right back, whipped in a cross to the far post and Dunwell completed his hat-trick with a first time effort that McIver could only push into the far corner of the net.

Dunwell was then replaced by Craig Winter to a standing ovation from the travelling fans, and the big defender was given a run out up front following his fine recent run of goalscoring form.

With Town now in complete control they could have added to their tally in the closing stages. Emson saw an effort disallowed for a marginal offside decision, while Butterworth twice came close before Laing was somehow denied by McIver from point blank range in stoppage time.

"We go into another tough game on Saturday against a West Allotment Celtic side who, like ourselves, have been picking up results," said Mulcaster. "I just hope the players are all fit and raring to go again."

HORDEN CW - McIver, Brymer (Ryan), Anderson, Evans, Brown, Watson, Lonsdale, Kidson, Cain, Atkinson, Murphy. Subs - Gillespie, Hookaday, Lincoln, Brymer (Reece).

TOWN - Hudson, Porritt, Bowman, Banks, Hickman, Parkin, Anderson, Laing, Dunwell, Emson, Butterworth. Subs - Shoulder, Winter, Chillingsworth.

REFEREE - T. Chambers


Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Opportunity knocks for Town as promotion race reaches thrilling climax

FOOTBALL is all about taking opportunities and for Peter Mulcaster's Northallerton Town side, a great opportunity could be about to present itself.

With fourth-placed Darlington RA facing in-form Jarrow Roofing tonight, Town could cut the gap on the final promotion place to just a single point with victory at bottom-side Horden CW.

It is so tight in the race for that coveted 4th spot that any one of five clubs could still achieve it, and all five are in action tonight. Town's biggest threat appears to come from Morpeth Town, a point better off with a game in hand, and Town's trip there on the final Saturday of the season could prove decisive.

Despite having a busy schedule, Morpeth do appear to have, on paper at least, the easiest run-in. However, in a season of strange results it would be no surprise to see them drop some unexpected points, perhaps tonight when Alnwick Town are the visitors.

North Shields, who have found wins hard to come by lately, begin the night two points above Town in 5th place, having played a game more, and they host in-form Tow Law Town. Elsewhere, Seaham Red Star, level on points with Shields but having played two games more, travel to a West Allotment Celtic side who could still force their way into the top 4 with a strong late run.

So with just four points separating Darlington RA in 4th with Town in 8th, there is still everything to play for as the race for a place in Division One next season really hots up.

With the games coming thick and fast at the moment, Mulcaster is likely to rotate his side for the trip to struggling Horden tonight. With Ian Smurthwaite, Steve Banks and 22-goal Carl Chillingsworth all expected to return to the squad, the Town boss will certainly have more options than in recent games.

Col Anderson, who impressed on the right in Monday's nights win at Chester-le-Street, could be given a more central role, while it would be no surprise to see Smurthwaite back in the heart of the defence, where he performed so well at Birtley last week, especially with Danny Shoulder and Craig Winter both carrying knocks.

If this season has taught us anything it is not to take anyone for granted, but it would be a major shock if Town do not come away from Horden with all three points. The hosts have conceded 17 goals in their last five matches, all of which have ended in defeat, and they have won just twice since September.

The reverse fixture in September saw a comfortable 3-0 win for Town at the RGPS, where Horden left back Paul Johnson was given a torrid time by Anderson, and a repeat tonight could push Town to within a single point of the top 4.

That would be a remarkable turn around in fortunes for the club, who appeared to be out of the promotion race completely following defeat at Washington just over a fortnight ago. But a change of manager has brought a renewed optimism to the RGPS and a win tonight will get the whole place buzzing again.

So opportunity has certainly come knocking for Town and they must be ready to grab it with both hands.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Terrific Town produce five-star display to see off Chester


TOWN produced one of their best performances of the season to power to another thrilling away victory at Moor Park on Monday evening.

As we approach the business end of the season, Peter Mulcaster's side have hit top form at just the right time to move to within four points of the top 4 and possible promotion.

After falling behind to a shock goal from Chester's Michael Hepplewhite, Town hit back with efforts from Mickey Dunwell, Grant Hickman, Marcus Laing, Adam Emson and Andrew Porritt to seal a 4th win in 5 matches.

"It was a great team performance," said a beaming Mulcaster at the whistle. "There were superb contributions from Col Anderson, Porritt and Danny Shoulder, although every single one of them played their part. I could not be more delighted."

With eight players missing for various reasons, Town were once again down to the bare-bones, although they were at least able to name two substitutes on this occasion.

Mulcaster was back in the dug-out after missing the defeat at Ryhope CW on Saturday, and he was able to welcome back Hickman, James Bowman and Adam Emson, while Anderson had made his peace with the club after the weekend shenanigans to take his place on the right wing.

Town were on the front-foot from the start but just as at Birtley a week earlier, they were unable to turn their superiority into goals. Emson fired over the top in the second minute, while Dunwell shot just wide on the turn twelve minutes later.

But it was the hosts who were gifted a 26th minute lead. A rare mistake from James Briggs saw the ball fall to Hepplewhite 30 yards out and he hit a superb first-time chip over the stranded Town goalkeeper into the net, much to the disbelief of everyone inside the ground.

It was beginning to look like one of those days for Town as every chance they created came back off a Chester defender. Anderson was causing havoc down the right and was denied by home goalkeeper Matthew Crook after half an hour, while further efforts from Emson, Bowman and Gav Parkin were either blocked or deflected away.

But Town were deservedly level five minutes before the break. Anderson turned full-back David Short inside-out and his super cross was headed home at the near post by Dunwell.

Emson and Steve Butterworth then came close to giving Town the lead in the final seconds of the half but once again Mulcaster's side really turned on the style after the break.

Hickman put them in front eight minutes after the restart, rising above the Chester defence to power home a header from a Parkin corner, and it was 3-1 five minutes later with a well crafted goal. Butterworth spread the ball wide to Hickman out on the right and his drilled centre was headed home by Laing - his third goal of the season.

Anderson should then have got the goal he deserved when Emson's left-wing cross fell to him in front of goal, but he was unable to re-adjust his feet quickly enough and Chester scrambled the ball clear.

Butterworth was then inches away from turning home a flick from Dunwell, while Emson saw an effort cleared off the line by Matthew Morris.

The exertions of the previous few days looked to have taken its toll as Town appeared to tire towards the end, but they regrouped to wrap up an impressive night's work with two further goals in the final two minutes.

Inevitably it was Emson who grabbed the fourth - his 34th goal of the season - flicking home a cross by Pottitt with his shoulder, while the two combined again for Porritt to fire home his first goal for the club from Emson's left-wing cross in stoppage time.

Mulcaster hopes to have Ian Smurthwaite, Carl Chillingsworth and Steve Banks back in the squad for Wednesday's trip to bottom-side Horden where another win will bring promotion that little bit closer.

CHESTER-LE-STREET - Crook, Smith (S), Short, Davison, Morris, Hamblin, Reeves, Baxter, Hepplewhite, Lee, Richardson. Subs - Alderson, Smith (A), Saunders, Surrey, Grover.

TOWN - Briggs, Hickman, Bowman, Shoulder, Porritt, Parkin, Anderson, Laing, Dunwell, Emson, Butterworth. Subs - Winter, Alderson.

REFEREE - T. Fletcher.


Saturday, 6 April 2013

(Ry)Hope springs eternal for battling Town


TOWN'S promotion hopes were dealt a blow with defeat at Ryhope CW on Saturday but the eleven players who represented the club should feel nothing but pride for the effort and total commitment they showed throughout the 90 minutes.

With 6 players and manager Peter Mulcaster all missing, Town were always going to up against it, but their task was made even harder when three others failed to show on the day, leaving just the bare-eleven.

When Jon Burton, who had scored two goals in the last three matches, was then injured inside fifteen minutes, that task became mission impossible. Burton battled on bravely until finally succumbing ten minutes from time and that set the tone for a display that more than made up for in spirit what it maybe lacked in quality.

"I thought it was a great battling performance and effort from the lads today under the circumstances," said stand-in manager Martin Mulcaster, who had come off his sick-bed to fill in for his father. "I echo the disappointments of the players for the three lads that didn't come today, two of which contacted us late and one who just didn't turn up at all.

"We must now however forget about today and look to get back to winning ways in what will be a difficult game against a good Chester-le-Street team on Monday night."

The pre-match talk was all about Ryhope's ground, which recently failed an FA inspection, but that paled into insignificance when Mulcaster was thrown a curve-ball at the 11th hour.

Already missing Grant Hickman, Steve Banks, James Bowman, Ian Smurthwaite, Adam Emson and Carl Chillingsworth, Mulcaster's plans were thrown into complete disarray when Col Anderson, Dan Clayton and David Cooke all cried off at the last minute.

Therefore the team picked itself. Gav Parkin was employed in a more advanced role alongside Michael Dunwell in attack with Steve Butterworth and Marcus Laing in midfield. Burton and Alex Caisley took up the wide positions with a back four of Andrew Porritt, Danny Shoulder, Craig Winter and Stu Dunn in front of goalkeeper James Briggs.

Town started well and gave as good as they got for fifteen minutes or so until Burton went down with a nasty looking injury. He was patched up by physio Paul Jackson but was unable to move freely and was pushed up front, with Parkin dropping back into midfield.

And the hosts went in front five minutes later. The Town defence could only half-clear a corner from the right by Lee McMahan and Chris Winn drilled the ball back past Briggs from 20 yards with the aid of a deflection to take him on to 40 goals for the season.

Mulcaster's side regrouped and were close to an equaliser soon after. A shot from Parkin was tipped over the crossbar by Ryhope goalkeeper Chris Rooks, although he appeared to injure himself in the process and failed to reappear for the second half.

By then the hosts had doubled their advantage. A clearance from Shoulder was charged down by  Chris Trewick on the edge of the Town penalty area and the ball rolled into the empty net.

Town needed something quickly at the start of the second period but it was Ryhope who grabbed a third goal six minutes after the resumption. The front two of Butler and Winn have found the back of the net nearly 90 times between them this season and they combined again to show that whichever league Ryhope are in next season, these two will surely be playing at a higher level.

Butler, unable to add to his impressive tally on this occasion, slipped in Winn in the inside right channel and he fired the ball across Briggs with the air of a man who knew he was not going to miss.

But out of adversity, Town showed great pride to find a way back into the match. Just four minutes later Parkin flighted over one of his trade-mark free kicks, and after the slightest of touches from Dunwell, Winter arrived to show he can finish as well as any 40 goal striker.

Had Town managed to find another goal now it would have made for an interesting final twenty minutes, but the nearest they came was a far post header by Butterworth that landed just the wrong side of substitute goalkeeper James French's right-hand post.

Burton, who had battled on bravely since the early injury, eventually hobbled off ten minutes from time and only the brilliance of Briggs prevented Ryhope adding to their tally in the closing stages. Twice he denied Butler with saves of the highest quality before going full-length to tip an effort from Michael Charlton around the post.

At the final whistle, the travelling Town fans showed their appreciation for what had been a magnificent effort from the boys in yellow and green, giving them a fully deserved ovation as they trooped off - beaten but in no way disgraced.

The possible impact of the no-shows was made clear when news of defeats for Morpeth and North Shields came through, meaning a win here would have brought 4th place ever closer. And with Ryhope's ground not looking likely to reach the required standard by the end of the season, that could still be good enough for promotion.

With several players due to return for Monday night's trip to Chester-Le-Street and another away trip to Horden CW two days later, six points could yet push Town back into promotion contention. If they show the same commitment to the cause as they did here then you would certainly not back against them getting it.

RYHOPE CW - Rooks, Stead, Metcalfe, Hall, Dunn, Trewick, Charlton, Johnson, Butler, Winn, McMahan. Subs - Cook, Bambreugh, Jordan, Davies, Pounder, French.

TOWN - Briggs, Porritt, Burton, Shoulder, Winter, Laing, Caisley, Butterworth, Dunwell, Parkin, Dunn. Subs - None.

REFEREE - J. Harper.


Thursday, 4 April 2013

Ryhope's loss could be Town's gain but should the rules be changed?

NEWS has come in that Ryhope CW has failed their recent ground inspection. Although it has not yet been decided if they will be given more time to reach the required standard, it is now looking increasingly likely that the team finishing 4th in Ebac Northern League Division Two this season will be promoted.

Of course the whole situation has made a mockery of the league. If their ground was not up to the required standard for the league then why were they admitted in the first place?

Everyone knew the criteria. Before Ryhope even applied for promotion from the Wearside League they should have been made to bring their ground up to standard. Or least had the infrastructure in place to get the work completed before the season started. If they were not able to do so then they should not have been elected into the league. Simple.

That is the way it is in other leagues. Spennymoor, for example, will not be granted promotion to the Evo-Stick League North if their ground does not reach the minimum requirement for that league. And that is how it should be.

Of course you cannot blame Ryhope for any of this. They have done nothing wrong. They have abided by the rules in place and on the pitch they have been a great addition to the league. The fault, for me, lies in the rules.

I have been told that Ryhope will be kicked out of Ebac Northern League completely if their ground is not up to standard in time which means this season will have been a farce. Will their results be expunged from the records? And if so what effect will that have on the league table?

I actually feel sorry for the players, management and supporters. Nine months of blood, sweat and tears for nothing. Heart-breaking. But it is heartbreak that could have been avoided.

The FA and Northern League need to, in my opinion, change the rules. They should not continue to give clubs a year to get their ground up to scratch. Things need to be in place before entry into the league is granted. But I doubt anything will change regardless of the outcome of the Ryhope case.

Of course Northallerton could come out of this quite well. 4th place is well within reach and after all the upheaval at the club in recent weeks, that would be a great way to finish the season.

This of course sets up nicely Town's trip to Ryhope on Saturday. It is a shame Peter Mulcaster's side will be missing 4-5 key players for such a big game but they should still have enough quality to make it another thrilling encounter.

The two games between the sides so far this season have both ended 2-2 at 90 minutes and I wouldn't be surprised if this one also finishes in a draw.

For all the off-field shenanigans, I have to say Ryhope has been one of the best sides I have seen this season. In Chris Winn they have a contender for player of the year while strike partner Jon Butler has scored 44 goals in all competitions. They have pace in wide areas and strength in midfield.

So on the pitch there is no doubt Ryhope deserve promotion, but unfortunately there is more to it than that. Certain standards off the pitch have to be met as well. Those are the harsh realities of football at this level.

But if their loss is to be Town's gain then they really need to keep their recent momentum going. With ten league games to play, Mulcaster's side need to take as many points as they can to be in with a chance of pipping Morpeth, North Shields, Seaham Red Star and Darlington RA for that covered 4th position, starting with the trip to Ryhope this weekend.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Three in a row for Mully as Town revivial continues


GOALS from the returning Col Anderson and Jon Burton either side of the break were enough to give promotion-chasing Town another three points as the revival under new manager Peter Mulcaster continued at Birtley on Tuesday evening.

In a first half they had dominated completely, Town had to wait until just before the break to finally beat impressive home goalkeeper Andrew Hunter when Anderson headed home a perfectly-flighted free kick from Gav Parkin.

Burton, who had opened his account for the club a week earlier, then added a second with another header from another Parkin set-piece delivery seven minutes after the restart to seal a comfortable nights work for Mulcaster's side.

"Of course I am pleased with another win," said the Town boss after his 100% record since taking charge ten days ago was extended to three matches.

"It should have been four or five in the first half alone, but it is always good to get a win. The other pleasing thing for me was that we had 3 Northallerton lads out there tonight and have won the game."

With the matches coming thick and fast, Mulcaster made changes to his starting XI. Ian Smurthwaite replaced injured captain Danny Shoulder in the centre of defence, while Grant Hickman came in for Steve Banks at right back. Elsewhere, Marcus Laing returned in the heart of midfield while Michael Dunwell replaced the absent Carl Chillingsworth in attack.

On a difficult surface, Town started well and only Hunter stood between them and a comfortable half time advantage. Two point-blanks save from Adam Emson almost defied belief, while the Birtley 'keeper then produced more heroics to deny Dunwell.

Other chances came and went as Mulcaster's side played some lovely football. They attacked with pace and panache from wide areas in a first half performance as good as anything they have produced all season. Dunwell, Anderson and Parkin all curled efforts narrowly wide of the post while Emson was twice more denied by Hunter.

Town were nearly made to pay for their profligacy when the nippy Birtley forward Luke Wilson twice broke through but he unable to find a finish and it was the visitors who finally made the breakthrough they deserved seconds before the break. Parkin whipped in a delightful free kick from the right and Anderson arrived to nod past Hunter from 6 yards.

Town rarely reached the heights of the first half after the restart but they were still in total control and doubled their advantage in the 52nd minute. Parkin, who must have created well over half of Town's goals this season, was at it again with another inch-perfect set-piece delivery and Burton rose to nod home with great aplomb despite the best efforts of defender Peter Henderson on the line.

Birtley worked hard to find a way back into the match but Town rarely looked like conceding and the nearest the hosts came to a consolation was an effort from Callum Smith which was tipped over the top by the otherwise under-employed James Briggs.

Mulcaster made changes, bringing on both recent signings David Cooke and Andrew Porritt for their club debuts, but Town could have increased their margin of victory in the closing stages. Hickman, getting forward to great effect down the right, headed over the top, Anderson was denied a second by a goalline clearance from Daniel Hepplewhite while Dunwell's overhead acrobatics produced another save from Hunter.

So all-in-all a satisfactory nights work for Mulcaster's side who are now just seven points behind 4th placed Darlington RA with four games in hand.

Next up for Town is a trip to high-flying Ryhope CW on Saturday, the first in a gruelling schedule of ten games in a little over four weeks, seven of which are away from home. It is a run of fixtures that will define the season.

BIRTLEY TOWN - Hunter, Henderson, Wallace, Smith (C), Hepplewhite, Downey, Allsopp, Smith (D), Wilson, Turner, Henry. Subs - Oliver, Trotter, Clarke, Roseby.

TOWN - Briggs, Hickman, Bowman, Smurthwaite, Winter, Parkin, Anderson, Laing, Dunwell, Emson, Burton. Subs - Caisley, Butterworth, Banks, Cooke, Porritt.

REFEREE - R. Cushing